What Soil Does Eggplant Grow Best In?
Eggplant prefers sandy, loamy soils that are deep and well-draining. The soil should also be quite rich in organic matter. If your soil is lacking, you can amend it by adding compost or manure. It’s best to do this a few weeks before you plant your eggplant so that the soil has time to absorb the nutrients.
Clay and boggy soils won’t do well for eggplant, since the plant needs good drainage to thrive. If your soil is clay-based, you can try planting your eggplant in raised beds. This will help improve drainage and prevent the roots from sitting in wet soil, which can lead to problems like root rot.
How to Grow Eggplant From Seeds?
If you’re starting from scratch, you’ll need to plant eggplant seeds. You can do this indoors up to 10 weeks before the last frost date.
How to grow eggplant from seeds? Plant the seeds 1/4 inch deep and water them deeply. For better results, cover the pots loosely with plastic wrap or a clear lid.
You’ll know the seeds have germinated when you see little seedlings poking through the soil. Once they’ve reached about four inches tall, it’s time to transplant them into your garden. You can safely do it when the soil is consistently 60 degrees F or warmer.
Be sure to harden them off first by leaving them outdoors for gradually longer periods of time. Start with an hour or two and work your way up to a full day. Do this over the course of a week before transplanting them.
When Should You Plant Eggplant Outside?
Eggplant is a warm-weather crop, so it’s best to plant it outdoors after all danger of frost has passed. In most areas, this is usually around late May or early June. If you’re in a rush to get your eggplant in the ground, you can start the seeds indoors and then transplant them later. Just be sure to harden them off first!
How to grow eggplant successfully if you live in a cool climate? Growing your eggplant in black pots will help retain the warmth it needs to thrive. Soil in black containers can be 10 degrees warmer than soil in white or light-colored containers.
How to Grow Eggplant From Seedlings?
If you’re getting your eggplant seedlings from a nursery, they should be ready to transplant into your garden. Choose a sunny location with well-drained soil, and dig a hole that’s twice as wide as the root ball. Gently loosen the roots before planting and space the plants 23–36 inches apart.
Water the seedlings deeply after planting, mulch around them, and keep the soil moist (but not soggy) throughout the growing season. You may need to water more frequently in hot, dry weather. Drip irrigation can help reduce water loss due to evaporation. If the soil is too dry, your crop will be small and bitter.
Eggplant is a heavy feeder, so be sure to fertilize it every few weeks with a balanced fertilizer. You can also side-dress with compost or manure if you notice the plants starting to yellow. This is a sign that they’re not getting enough nutrients.
How Long Does Eggplant Take to Grow?
You’ve learned how to grow eggplant from seeds and from transplants. But how long does eggplant take to grow? It depends on the method you used. Eggplant typically takes 100–120 days to mature if you’re growing it from seed. The first fruits will be ready to harvest about 65-80 days after transplanting.
What Pests and Diseases Affect Eggplant?
Eggplants are susceptible to a number of pests and diseases, so it’s important to be on the lookout for problems. Common pests include aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites. These can all be controlled with insecticidal soap or neem oil.
Common diseases include verticillium wilt, bacterial leaf spot, and powdery mildew. These can be controlled with fungicides, but it’s always best to start with a resistant variety if you can.
Eggplant is also susceptible to blossom end rot, which is a calcium deficiency. This can be prevented by adding lime to the soil and keeping the plants evenly watered.