Eggplant is one of the best known vegetable for its marvelous test and various health values. Eggplant is such a common vegetable without which we cannot think of our marketing. It is a valuable vegetable and better to grow than to buy it. So, today we will learn how to grow eggplant. Growing eggplant is as easy as bitter melon and as pleasure as cucumber.
Soil for Eggplant Farming
Light sandy to heavy clay soil, that means, almost every types of soil is used for farming eggplant. Light sandy soil best suits for the advanced outcome. Farming in such a land requires for a lot of organic manure. The manure is applied within a short time of applying for the first time. Clay loamy and silt loamy soil is perfect for the purpose. Selected soil must be fertile, deep and well refined.
Nutrition of Eggplant
Eggplant is of immense nutrition and food value. There are 0.8 gm. minerals, 1.3 gm. fiber, 42 calories energy, 1.8 gm. protein, 2.2 gm. carbohydrate, 28 mg calcium, 0.9 mg iron, 850 micro gm. carotene, 0.12 mg vitamin b-1, 0.08 mg vitamin b-2, and 5 mg vitamin c in every 100 gm. eggplant vegetable. Actually eggplant is rich with food value as red spinach and cauliflower.
Kinds of Eggplant
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The farmers are well known to the S.melongena. It is of pear shaped having a light purple to dark purple color. It can be of 6-9 inches long. May be such kind of eggplant is of green or pale green color.
The eggplant is mainly of three groups.
- Black magic
- Black beauty
- Black bell
There are some additional varieties and they are as below-
Sicilian is the type smaller than the S.melongena. It has a wider base. Having white or purple color, the eggplant is also called by the name Graffiti.
Italian type is also a smaller sized vegetable more oval variety than the classical types of eggplant.
Chinese eggplant is rounder with purple skin.
White eggplant is of white color as mentioned by the name. There are two types of white of white eggplant and they are Albino and white beauty.
Japanese eggplant can be long or small. They are smooth, light purple or dark skin. Such kinds of eggplant need not to be peeled.
There are also several additional types of eggplant. One can farm any one of them according to their needs and wish.
Producing the Seedlings
For farming eggplant, seedlings are grown in the seedbeds and then transferred to farming land. Seedbeds area must be free from water logging, shadow and with much sunlight and high platform. Selected area must be ploughed for 2-3 times having a depth of 10 cm. The soil must be fertile. Some organic manure can be applied if the land seems not to be enough fertile. 0.10 cube meter rotten organic manure and 30 gm.
TSP can be applied for per squire of land. After the land being ploughed, the whole land will be divided into several parts to make several seedbeds. The length of a seed bed needs to be of 3-5 cube meters. 50-60 cm is the better distance between two seedbeds. The level of the seedbeds needs to be higher than the gap of the beds. Also we can use box, big pot or container for a small amount of seedlings. 250-300 gm. seeds are required for per hector. So, we need at least 16-20 seedbeds for the seedlings of a hector.
75-80% of the seeds germinate and we can sow the seeds randomly or in a row. The distance between two rows is 5 cm. After sowing the seeds, we need to irrigate the land carefully. Straw, poly or gunny sack can be spread over the seedbeds so that the seeds might not get washed or position less. When the seedlings come out, after every two or four days, we must irrigate the seedbeds.
Preparing Land and Seedlings Plant
The land must be ploughed for 3-4 times and the soil needs to be shuffle with the ladder. Seedlings of 35-40 days, having a height of 15 cm are planted in the farming land. The seedlings older than it can also be planted. We must irrigate the seedbeds before collecting the seedlings so that the roots are not damaged.
Generally the distance between rows is 75-90 cm and 60 cm between two seedlings. It is better to plant them in the afternoon so that the seedlings do not get dried in the sunshine soon after they are planted.
The eggplant takes a heavy amount of natural elements to grow. So, to get an expected production, we must apply fertilizer. After planting the seedlings for 10-12 days, the first dose of fertilizer can be applied. When it starts to grow the vegetable, the second dose and at the middle age of the plant the third dose can be applied.
The most harmful insect for eggplant is drilling insect that drills the fruit and the top of the plant. Along with it, Flea Beetles, Horn-worms, Grasshoppers, Eggplant Lace-bugs, Colorado Potato Beetles, and Aphids etc. can attack in the eggplant firm. If the attack is strong enough, we can apply pesticides with the recommendation of an agriculture officer.
The Sometimes the fruit rotten can hampers. At the seedbeds, damping off can attack the seedlings and can minimize the growth of production as well. There are also root knotting, small leaves and spot of the plant can damage. Organic management does not work properly in such a crisis. So, we must have a consultation with trained farmer or an agriculture officer as the remedy may be different and according to the context. You can also see eggplant insects and diseases management.
Collecting the Vegetable
The vegetable is collected before it gets fully ripen. When the fruit gets proper shape and the seeds are not strong inside, we need to collect the vegetable right then. The fruit looks bright at that time. If we punch the fruit with fingers and the fruits get down inside, we won’t collect then as the fruit is still much younger to be collected. But, if the fruits seem to be soft but do not get down inside, we can collect them then. Generally it takes one month to produce a proper grown fruit from a flower. 17-64 tons can be collected from per hector according to their variety.