Eggplants from the Solanaceae family are warm weather-loving plants that grow about two to six feet tall, though this varies based on their different species. They are highly nutritious and can be served with other food varieties of vegetables.
Their maturity day ranges from between 60 to 80 days. As a matter of fact, their seed can actually be sown and planted directly into the ground with adequate care and support, the plant will germinate. Though the transplant is what is most commonly adopted, however, eggplant can also be sown directly in the soil.
The main thing to watch out for is to ensure that the soil temperature is warm and conducive enough. When they are planted directly into the soil, they do not require any special seed preparation before planting. Planting the eggplant seed directly into the soil works well and best especially for those who stay in the humid warm region.
Most essentially be sure to find a nice warm place for them when contemplating setting them up in your garden area or space. Before planting the seed ensure that there is no chance of frost and test properly that the soil is warm enough before planting.
How do I plant the seeds directly into the soil?
Planting the eggplants seed directly into the soil requires a lot of care and support, but here are a few tips to consider:
- The first thing is to prepare your seeds ahead before planting. Ensure the seeds you get are fresh set of seeds.
- Before planting the seeds, choose the warm part of your garden space and set up ridges for planting them there.
- You can set the ridges about 20 inches apart.
- Dig a hole in the soil and put in about two to three seeds in each planting hole about ½ to ¼ inches deep.
- Then you can cover it lightly with the soil and sprinkle lightly with water.
- Once they begin to germinate, watch out for the strong plants that grow from the planting hole and keep them safe.
- As they keep germinating and producing, you can trim the plants down so that they can keep producing more flowers and also be able to branch out the more.
- Keep in mind that they have a long growing season and may require about 100 to 140 days which is roughly about three to four months before they reach maturity from the seed.
Tip: Learn about soaking eggplant seeds before planting
HOW TO GROW THEM
Once your eggplants start sprouting, watch out for the following things to be done in order to get a bountiful harvest:
1) DISEASES AND PEST: Watch out for pests like aphids which can be easily removed with the hands, however, when you notice any infested plant, they should be quickly set apart and removed so as to avoid spread to other plants.
2) SOIL PH: The ideal soil PH for eggplants ranges from 5.5-6.8 which is slightly acidic to neutral. This must be put into consideration especially when choosing a suitable site for the plant.
3) SUPPORT: As they begin to grow there will be a need to support the plants. You can use anything like a stake or tomato cage that can help the eggplants to lean or rest on or give them support as they grow.
4) TEMPERATURE: They grow well at a temperature that ranges between 60-95 degrees Fahrenheit. They thrive well in warm soil.
5) SUNLIGHT: They require access to full sun.
6) WATER: You can water them weekly and ensure the soil is moist to a depth of about 6 inches. What you should be interested in when watering the plants is to keep the soil moist but avoid them soaking wet. You can also apply mulching just to help to retain the soil moisture.
7) FERTILIZER: You can add some fertilizer to the soil to help boost soil fertility. This can be prepared ahead and worked into the surface of the soil before planting the eggplant seed. You can also fertilize every two weeks because eggplants require lots of nutrients.
8) Harvest: The fruits are ready for harvest when you notice that the fruits have reached half their size. You can use scissors to cut them and avoid pulling the fruit off the plant so as not to damage the fruit plant. Another way to know they are ready for harvest is when their skin becomes shiny or glossy.
Eggplants can be grown in the ground if you follow the simple steps above. I hope you find this article helpful. I would like to hear from you. So, let me know if you have any questions.