Due to its egg-shaped fruits, the vegetable plant, which comes from Asia, is also called egg tree, egg fruit or egg plant. Typical of the annual nightshade plant are its furry, large leaves and purple flowers (with yellow stamens), from which the eggplants later develop - preferably at 25 degrees in a sunny location protected from the wind. Since the spring temperatures in Germany are nowhere near warm enough at the time of sowing, you have to help a little. How to successfully plant and harvest eggplant is explained below.
Eggplants particularly need warmth: for optimal growth, the vegetable plants need temperatures around 25 degrees. For this reason, a greenhouse is the best location for growing them - alternatively they need a warm, wind-protected place outside. However, if the outside temperature falls below 15 degrees, the eggplants stop growing. It is also important to know that eggplants do not like high humidity, so the film greenhouse should be ventilated regularly. As far as the soil is concerned, the subtropical plants prefer loose and humus-rich soil - ideally in combination with some compost soil. Growing them works just as well in a (raised) bed as in a flower pot, as long as the eggplants have enough space and are provided with enough water.
Eggplants need a lot of time before they bear their first fruit - for this reason they should be sown as early as possible (preferably between the end of January and the beginning of March). For cultivation, use suitable containers in which you put nutrient-rich seed soil and lightly compact it, as well as one seed per pot: the sowing depth should be between one and two centimeters. Water the soil thoroughly and cover it with a transparent film to increase humidity. Then place the cultivation containers in a warm, sunny location such as the windowsill. After seven to 21 days, the plants should begin to germinate. You can prick the eggplants as they grow so that individual shoots (and fruits) develop more strongly.
When it comes to care, you can support your eggplant plants in the following ways:
In May, the young nightshade plants can be planted out - for example in the vegetable garden, the greenhouse or a raised bed on the balcony. A nutrient-rich, loose potting soil is also important here. When repotting, make sure to maintain a minimum distance of 60 centimeters between plants. This means that the growing leaves and shoots still have enough space to spread. To support the increasing weight, a climbing aid per eggplant makes sense. The fruits should be ready to harvest between July and September. You can recognize the right time by the rich purple color that we know from eggplants. Another indication are the sepals: if the fruits are ripe, the leaves are light green and not browned.
Source: My Beautiful Garden
This article contains so-called affiliate links. Further information are available here.