How to grow eggplant from seeds

On this post we are going to look at how to grow eggplants from seed. Actually eggplants are heat-loving vegetable and they belong to the Solanaceae family, they requires about 2 month of night temperatures that is around seventy degrees Fahrenheit for optimal fruit production.

The Preparation of Eggplant Seed

This vegetable really has colorful fruit and dramatic foliage, eggplants are not only a great choice for a vegetable garden they are also an ornamental specimen as well. Eggplant is actually native to Asia and they are tender annual that really requires full sun, well-draining, slightly acidic, fertile soil and a long growing season as well. Actually there is no particular eggplant seed preparation that is necessary prior to sowing. Eggplant seeds can germinate at temperature between sixty to seventy degrees Fahrenheit and the seedlings will emerge in 7 to ten days. If you are growing with eggplant seeds instead of the nursery start, the eggplant seeds will remain viable for about 4 years. Starting the eggplant seeds indoors is most common, but if you actually live in an extremely warm, humid region, you can plant eggplant seeds directly in the garden.

How to Start Eggplant Seeds Indoors

If you want to start the eggplant seeds indoors make sure you have an area to germinate them that is quite warm, about eighty to ninety Fahrenheit. The seed planting should occur 4 to 6 weeks before your last frost date. This plant has tiny seed, just make sure you sow the seeds about ¼-inch deep with a very good quality potting soil in flats or cell containers. You can easily use a dome or cloche to retain heat as well as humidity in other to encourage germination when the eggplant seed are planted indoors. Under normal conditions the growing eggplant seeds will germinate within 7 days. 2 weeks after germination, fertilize the eggplant seedlings once a week with a soluble fertilizer, one tablespoon of fertilizer to about 1 gallon of water. The eggplant seedlings will be ready to transplant in about 6 to 8 weeks. Make sure you harden off the seedlings carefully by gradually reducing ambient temperatures and easing off on watering. Try and wait until the weather has settled properly with no sign of frost and the soil is also warm before transplanting. Cool temperatures can weaken the plants and frost can easily kill them.

Transplanting Eggplant Seedlings

Before you actually move the eggplant seedlings outdoors make sure you choose a full sun spot with a soil pH of 5.5 to 7.0 acidic to neutral. You can use a raised bed or black plastic mulch to aid in warming the soil and also to speed up the plant growth. Consider using an organic mulch to retain moisture, make sure you don’t apply it until the soil is warm. In other to reduce the risk of disease, rotate the eggplant crops every few years. The plant does well following beans or peas. Transplants should be set about eighteen to twenty-four inches apart in rows thirty to thirty-six inches apart. After that, the eggplants will require a moderate irrigation and a bi-weekly feeding.

The harvest time for eggplant is between seventy to ninety days from the transplant date.

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