Eggplants are not only easy to grow but also give you the option of having something healthy at your meal that is homegrown. How amazing is that! While most of us wish to grow such rewarding yields like eggplants, an unfortunate thing is not many of us actually know how to grow them.
If you identify with such situations, don’t worry!
We have shared an extensive guide on how deep to plant eggplant seedlings and how to take care of them so that they grow to their fullest potential.
So, without any further ado, let us dive into the journey of growing wonderful eggplants.
How Deep to Plant Eggplant Seedlings?
Whether or not your eggplants will give a great product depends on how you sow the seedlings initially. Believe it or not, it all goes back to the earliest step of how you choose your eggplants seeds, prepare a bed for them and take its subsequent care.
Read on to know how to grow eggplants from seedlings, starting from how deep to actually plant them.
Also Read: Why Eggplant Flowers Falling Off?
Grow eggplant from seeds
Typically, it is advised that in order to grow eggplant from seeds, you need to plant the seedlings approximately 6 millimeters below the ground, which translates to roughly a quarter inch. However, you cannot simply throw the seeds away into the soil.
To be effective, you need to place your seedlings into durable cell containers or flats and then place them in the soil. Here are more tips to prepare your soil for optimal eggplant seedling:
Your soil should be well drained, fertile and filled with rich organic material to facilitate the growth of eggplant seedlings. Further, take special care that the pH composition of your soil is slightly acidic and not too neutral.
When you are sowing them, take proper care that they are germinated at the average temperature that doesn’t go beyond the range of 65 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. This will ensure that the seedlings start emerging in not more than ten days.
The seeds that you sow in the garden remain viable and healthy for a period of about four years. This is good news for many of those who are too lazy to harvest their eggplant in the same season.
You can now keep them there for up to four years without worrying about how bad they can get. However, one important consideration is to always keep the soil and subsequent environment warm and humid instead of being frosty. It promotes the seed growth and preserves them for future use.
Eggplants are usually grown best when the method of transplanting is adopted, as opposed to directly being grown in the soil bed. For this reason, it is always advised to keep the soil slightly acidic and well maintained.
If you plant to grow your eggplants inside your house due to any reason, make sure that you sow the seeds at least five weeks prior to your last frost date. Any further, and you will restrict the chance of your plant to properly germinate and grow.
When you sow your eggplant seedlings below the ground, make sure to use additional equipment like a cloche or even a dome to help retain maximum heat and humidity for the process of germination of your eggplants.
Wait for two weeks after you have germinated your eggplant seedlings to see if there is any rapid reaction to the external stimuli or environment and then you can safely start fertilizing it.
Start with a soluble fertilizer and dilute it with enough water so that it doesn’t become too highly concentrated for the new seedlings. For reference, you can add about 10 to 15 ml of fertilizer to 3 liters of water and apply it to the seedlings.
Check this out: How often to water eggplant?
After your seedlings have matured, it is now time to harden them off using all the tips and tricks available in the book. One of the most effective is to reduce the high temperatures that they have been subjected to for so long and easing off on the amount of water that you are giving to the plant.
If you are growing your plant indoors and want to transplant them after hardening the eggplant seedlings, it would be best to do so in an area that receives a steady amount of sunlight throughout the day.
The ideal soil pH to place your eggplant seedlings is roughly between 5 to 7 on the scale and nothing beyond this range or it would be hard for your plant to bear.
Make sure to keep the soil at relatively warm temperatures at every step of the process. In order to increase the water retention abilities of your soil, you can also add mulch or organic manure to your soil and see the magic.
If your garden faces the issue of a lot of pests, bacteria, or is a house of diseases, you can also try and adopt the crop rotation technique to grow your plants. Usually, when the production of beans or peas precedes the growing of eggplant seedlings, it is said to yield the best results and keeps the pests at bay for a long period of time.
Your eggplant seedlings should be spaced at least 50 cm apart to help your seeds have enough room for themselves to grow and prosper, without interfering with the growth process of other plants.
How to Grow Your Eggplant: Care tips and tricks
Once you have established how to grow and sow in the best eggplant seedlings, it is time to help learn some quick and widely used technique that will help you actually maintain the entire growth process of your plant. Here is all you need to take care of when growing eggplants and harvesting them:
When you are presented with an option, always opt for eggplant varieties that are comparatively smaller in size. This is because, the smaller your eggplants would be in size, the more trustworthy they become of the growth process. They are comparatively less vulnerable to pests and demand less dedication from the side of the gardener, making it an easier job.
In addition, compact eggplant varieties can also be perfectly grown in small containers or cells, and do not require much space. Conclusively, smaller eggplants are also more powerful for staying durable and strong in the garden as compared to other plants or bigger eggplants for that matter.
If you are looking forward to a more durable eggplant yield, then maybe consider the seeding process a little late next time.
If you do it feeling like starting the seeding a few weeks earlier to the frost season, you can go ahead and seed your eggplants in midsummer. It gives more time to your plants to grow and enables their leaves to develop completely, which is not the case in the previous situation.
Expose your eggplants to at least six to seven hours of direct sunlight every day, the importance of a sunny and hot temperature for growing eggplants cannot be stressed enough and should certainly not be overlooked at all.
The soil needs to be kept moist throughout, so make sure that you water your plants enough, without any second thoughts. With this, comes the warning of not waterlogging or overwatering your plant, which can cause root rot or even the plant to die.
If you observe that your eggplants have started to in unusual size and shape, then it is an indication of abnormal watering and you need to fix it as soon as possible to prevent the premature death of your plant.
As opposed to the fact that eggplants require very high temperatures, they really do not follow the same rule when it comes to humidity. They can not manage to survive in conditions of either too high or too low humidity.
If pollination is not occurring, you probably need to check the high humidity levels of your plant. Try installing a dehumidifier for best and most accurate results.
If we are talking about the time when eggplants taste the best, then you need to harvest them when they are fresh and little and very new.
As soon as they start becoming ripe, not only do they lose their nutritional value, but also the taste fades away. One should always start picking out eggplants as soon as they become unwrinkled with a glossy appearance.
Also Read: Why Are Sweet Pea Leaves Turning Yellow?
Eggplants are the sole lovers of heat and they do not thrive until the temperatures rise above 70 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the day. Scientifically belonging to the Solanaceae family, the seedlings typically take two months or slightly more to grow to their optimal potential and support the production of fruit.
This journey can be a bit troublesome for some people, but now that we have told you all about the growing and caring tips of these plants, we are sure you’ll face no such issue.
If, however, you feel like you have certain perpetuating doubts about the growth process of eggplants or other similar yields, feel free to check out other articles posted by us. We post the most effective and time tested methods to solve your multiple gardening doubts and make it a memorable experience.