Brinjal - Vegetable gardening at home

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How to plant Brinjal seeds:

  • Brinjal grows best in a well-drained sandy loam or loam soil, fairly high in organic matter

  • Sow brinjal seeds in cell packs or small pots, 1/4 inch deep.

  • Water them well, cover loosely with a plastic bag to retain moisture, and place them in a warm spot

  • Do not plant brinjal transplants into the garden until after the last threat of frost.

  • For bigger fruits, restrict to five or six per plant.

  • Pinch out the terminal growing points for a bushier plant

  • If growing in containers, stake the stems before the fruit forms.

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How to Fertilize Brinjal plants:

  • Apply a balanced fertilizer like cattle compost twice during the growing season. 

  • Fertilizer to be applied through side dressing, a process of digging a 6-inch trench around each plant and applying a fertilizer to it to keep nutrients available to the plant on an as-needed basis.

  • Side dress again in about two to three weeks.

  • You can also fertilize your seedlings with vermicompost tea

  • As the fruit grows, it will need regular replenishment of nutrients in the soil.

  • A good-quality 10-20-20 fertilizer is used for this purpose, which contains twice as much phosphorus and potassium than nitrogen. 

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Brinjal - Pest and Diseases

  • Flea Beetles is the most common pest, but a healthy eggplant will be able to withstand damage. Grow plants under row covers until they are large enough to tolerate leaf damage.  

  • Powdery Mildew can affect eggplant. This appears as white, powdery spots on the leaves which may turn yellow and die. Planting resistant varieties when available, planting in full sun, and provide good air circulation. 

  • Tomato Hornworms are sometimes an issue as are potato beetles, lace bugs, and mites. If the flowers on your eggplants form but then fall off, or if fruit does not develop these are symptoms of pests in the plants

  • Most pests and diseases can be controlled organically with Insecticidal soap and Neem oil mix spray. 

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Harvesting Brinjal

  • Harvest 65 to 80 days after transplanting, depending on the variety.

  • The skin of the fruit is shiny and unwrinkled and a uniform color when it is ready for harvest

  • As soon as the skin does not rebound to gentle pressure from your finger, it’s ripe.

  • Japanese eggplant may be ready to harvest when the size of a finger or hot dog

  • Cut the fruit with a sharp knife or pruning shears close to the stem, leaving about an inch of it attached.

  • Once ready, eggplants are harvested at least once per week, preferably twice a week.

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