Eggplant Growing (Brinjal):
The following content is all about Eggplant growing.
Introduction of Eggplant Growing
Eggplant is a popular vegetable crop grown commonly grown in the regions of subtropics and tropics. It is native to India. Eggplant belongs to the same family of potatoes, tomatoes, and pepper. In India it is grown throughout the country and is a popular vegetable. It is a versatile crop and easily adapted to various agro-climatic conditions. Eggplant is a perennial and cultivated commercially as an annual crop. It can be grown throughout the year. Eggplant comes in various size, shape and color. There are many cultivars available in the local nursery store. Depending on the cultivars the shapes can be oval or chicken egg shaped, long club shaped, round and white, yellow, green, purple fruit color.
The plant stem is thick and woody with bushy branching growing up to eight feet. The plant leaves are green to greyish green in color and they are large, lobed. Color of the flowers is blue to purple star shaped and self-pollinating. The plant fruit is fleshy.
Scientific / Botanical Name of Eggplant
Eggplant comes from the family Solanaceae and its botanical name is Solanummelongena.
Other Names of Eggplant
Eggplant, Auberigine, Brinjal
Eggplant in Indian Languages
Hindi – बैंगन(baingan).
Gujarati – રીંગણા(Rīṅgaṇā).
Tamil – கத்திரிக்காய்(Kattirikkāy).
Kannada – ಬದನೆಕಾಯಿ(Badanekāyi).
Bengali –বেগুন (Bēguna).
Marathi -वांगं (Vāṅgaṁ).
Punjabi – ਬੈਂਗਣਦਾਪੌਦਾ (Baiṅgaṇadāpaudā).
Urdu – بینگن .
Eggplant Varieties / Eggplant Cultivars
- CO1: The vegetable is from a pure line selection. The vegetable fruit is onlong in shape and pale green with white background in color. The seeds in the fruits are soft seeded even at maturity. The plants can be harvested in 130 to 140 days after planting. Farmer can expect a yield of 20 to 25 tonnes per hectare.
- CO2:The vegetable is from a pure line selection from Varikkathiri fruit. The vegetable fruit is long (lengthy oblong) in shape and pale green in color. The seeds in the fruits are soft seeded and less and bittler less. Farmer can expect a yield of 30 to 35 tonnes per hectare in 140 to 150 days after planting.
- (BR): The vegetable fruit are small to medium size and oval or egg-shapped. The fruits are dark purple with pink tinge and glossy. Farmer can expect a yield of 36 to 38 tonnes per hectarein 130 to 140 days after planting.
- PPI(B): The vegetable is from a pure line selection from karungal local type. The vegetable fruit is lengthy oblong in shape and pale green in color. The seeds in the fruits are soft and less seeded and bitter-less. Farmer can expect a yield of 48 to 50tonnes per hectare in 175 to 185 days after planting.
- COBH1: This is a hybrid variety between EP45 and CO2. The vegetable fruits are long and oblong in shape. The fruit is violet in color having high ascorbic acid content about 16.65 miligram per 100 gram. Farmer can expect a yield of 55 to 57 tonnes per hectare in 120 to 130 days.
The other varieties and hybrids include Krishna, ManjariGota, Pragati, Vaishali, ABV-I, and COBH2.
Climate for Eggplant Growing
Eggplant prefers warm climatic conditions as they are warm season crop and does not tolerate frost. The plant grows well in day temperature 24° to 30° C and with night temperature not below 20° C. Plant shows slow growth and becomes less productive to temperatures above 35° C in the day and below 17° C in the nights. The plant can tolerate drought and high rainfall and flowering is not affected by day length.
Soil for Eggplant Growing
The plant grows in a wide variety of soils. Soils that are deep, fine, rich loam soils are much preferred for healthy growth with high yield. Soil must be well drained as the plant cannot tolerate extended period of water logging owing to the buildup of root rotting pathogens. The soil pH should be within 5.5 to 6.5 range for optimum growth.
Land Preparation for Eggplant Growing
Eggplant is a long duration crop and soil must be well prepared for cultivation. Prepare the field thoroughly with four to five plowing and turn soil at least 20 cm deep. This facilitates the plant growth and development with extensive root system to draw water and nutrients. Avoid soils that are poorly drained. Mix the field with 25 tonnes of well-rotted farm yard manure per hectare in the last plowing. Along with FYM apply two kilogram each of Azospirillum and Phosphobacteria per hectare. Form ridges and furrows at a spacing of 60 cm. Irrigate the furrows before transplanting the seedlings.
Propagation in Eggplant Growing
Eggplants can be propagated by seeds and transplanting. Germination of seeds is slow and must be sown in nursery beds. Seedlings of 30 to 35 days are ready for transplanting to the main field.
Seed Rate for Eggplant Growing
Seed of 800 grams to 1000 grams is required to raise the seedlings in nursery for a hectare land.
Seed Treatment in Eggplant Growing
Before sowing the eggplant seeds must be treated with four grams of Trichoderma per kilogram or 10 grams of Pseudomonas fluorescens per kilogram of seed. The seeds can also be treated with 10 grams of Azospirillum per kilogram seed by mixing in rice gruel which act as adhesive.
Sowing Season for Eggplant Growing
Eggplant can be cultivated twice in a year. The sowing season can be from December to January and May to June.
Plant Spacing in Eggplant Growing
Bring the main field to fine tilth. Raise beds of 120 cm in width and 30 cm interval between beds. Seedlings are raised on a raised bed.Spacing of 60 x 60 cm between plants for variety and 90 x 60 cm between hybrid seedlings. Planting can also be done at a spacing of 90 x 60 x 75 cm in a paired row.
Eggplant Growing in Greenhouse
Eggplant is a popular crop to be grown in greenhouse for its long season and high yield potential. Growing of Eggplant in greenhouse offers distinct advantages of quality and productivity.Eggplant growers can substantially increase their income by growing Eggplant in greenhouse in cool season (off season) by regulating temperature inside the greenhouse.
Eggplant Growing in Containers
Eggplants are heavy, dense fruits growing on medium to large sized plants. The plant grows up to 100 to 120 cm ideal to grow in a container or pot and easily moved around in the terrace garden or in balcony. To grow eggplant in a container chose a pot that is having a depth of 24 to 30 cm depth. Germination of seeds take long time so keep the soil moist and in adequate lighting till germination takes place. Eggplants are warm season plants hence avoid shady places and cool places in the house. Add potting mix that is rich in organic matter. Plant the seedling or seeds one to two centimeter in depth in the center of the pot. A pot that is 50 cm wide can accommodate 3 plants. Eggplant can tolerate drought so watering can be scarce but enough moisture in the soil will let the plant grow healthily. Can harvest fruits regularly for long periods as it is long season plant.
Irrigation in Eggplant Growing
Irrigation to the main field can be done through furrow flooding or drip irrigation. It is recommended to go for drip irrigation to control weed growing. Drip water system is introduced with principle and sub primary pipes and place sidelong tubes at 150 cm interim. Drippers in the horizontal tubes are put at an interim of 60 cm and 50 cm separated with 4LPH and 3.5LPH.Irrigate the beds before transplanting seedlings for eight to 12 hours. Irrigation must be applied depending upon the season and plant development stages. Irrigation should be managed to maintain good soil moisture at the top 45 cm of the soil as most of the roots are spread across for absorbing water and nutrients in this depth.
Manures and Fertilizers in Eggplant Growing
At the last plowing mix the soil with 25 tonnes per hectare of farm yard manure or compost along with 100 kilogram of Nitrogen, 150 kilogram of Phosphorous, and 100 kilogram of Potassium is given as basal dose. After planting the seedlings at about each week three to five kilogram of Nitrogen must be applied for the period of vegetal growth. Seven to 11 kilogram of Nitrogen must be applied each week at early flowering stage. And five to seven kilogram of Nitrogen must be applied each week during fruit enlargement.
Inter crops in Eggplant Growing
Inter cropping is cultivating two or more crops in the same field at the same time. Eggplant can be intercropped with beans and marigold crops.
Intercultural Operations in Eggplant Growing
Effective weed management is a critical step for successful eggplant production. Weeds compete for light, nutrients, water thereby interfere in yield. Two to three hand hoeing or inter tillage is recommended to check the weeds without damaging the roots. Apply one kilogram of Pendimethalin or Fluchloralin per hectare as pre-emergence herbicide followed by hand weeding once at 30 days. Qrobanchaisp is the most common and serious weed found in all solanaceous crops. This is a root parasite and can be controlled by registered herbicide available in the local nursery store as prescribed by experts.
Pests and Diseases in Eggplant Growing
- Shoot and Fruit Borer: This is one of the major and serious insect pest effecting eggplants. The caterpillar is short and pinkish in color and starts eating the internal tissue. It bores into the shoots and fruit. The caterpillar enters through the calyx and exit the fruit by making large holes which are the exit hole and makes the fruit unfit for consumption. To control this pest is by hand picking the caterpillars and destroying the infected fruit. The field must be sprayed with 0.5 ml of Phosphamidon (demicron-100 EC) or 1 ml of Diochlorovos (Sumthion-50 Ecfolilhion-50 EC) in one litre of water every two weeks.
- Leaf Eating Beetle: The beetle feed on leaves and foriage thereby destroying the crop growth and reducing the yield. To control, spray the field with Endosulphan (Thioden-35 EC) or Phentrothion (Sumithion-35 EC) at 2 ml per litre of water. Or 1 ml of Fenthion (Lebacid-1000 EC) or Thimiton (Ekatin-25 EC) per litre of water.
- Mite, Jassids, Aphids and Mealy Bug: These insects feed on plant by sucking the sap from the leaves. In severe cases the crop looks yellowish and the leaves drop down prematurely. They can be controlled by spraying 1ml of Methyl parathion (Metacid 50 EC) or Oxidemiton methyl (Metassystox 25 EV) per litre of water or 2 ml of Malathion-50 EC per litre of water every 15 days. The mite can be controlled by spraying 2 ml of Dicophol (KeIthane-18.5EC ) or 1 ml of Morocite-40 EV per litter of water across the field for every two weeks.
- Damping off: This disease affects the young seedlings and seeds at the nursery. Seedlings rot and fall over ground and die in patches. To control, the seeds before sowing must be treated without water at 52° C for 30 minutes. Or treat seeds before sowing with Cerason or Agrosan G.N. The nursery bed should be treated with formalin before seeds are sown and the young seedlings must be sprayed with fungicides at a regular interval.
- Phomopsis Blight and Fruit Rot: This is a serious fungal disease attacking all parts of the plant above ground. Affected plants have oval shaped dark brown lessions on leaves and stems. Fruits become black and mummified. To control the fungal disease, use disease free seeds and varieties. The field must be sprayed on weekly basis with 2.5 gram of Zineb (Dithane-Z 78) or Mancozeb (Dithane M-45) in one litre of water.
Harvesting in Eggplant Growing
Harvesting starts after 70 to 85 days from plantation. Fruits are harvested while they are still immature but attained good size, color while the mature ones loose glossy appearance and become dull. Fruits must be severed by knife more often to encourage fruit set. Harvesting is done by cutting 3 to 5 cm length of stem attached rather than by pulling the fruit. Fruits varieties that are elongated or oblong in shape take more time to ripen.
Harvested fruits must be thoroughly washed and cooled before packing. Packing must be done carefully to avoid skin abrasions and damaging. Harvesting and handling practices must be followed to avoid fruits loosing glossy or compression injuries as this will become unfit for marketing.
Yield in Eggplant Growing
Depending on growing season, variety, region and under best cultivation practices a farmer can expect a yield of 30 to 50 tonnes per hectare.
Marketing in Eggplant Growing
About 97% of eggplant harvest is produced for fresh market. Prices for eggplant vary on fruit varieties. Fruit physical characteristics include well colored, firm, well-shaped and glossy ones without scars or injuries or work holes are good in demand in the local or export market. Eggplant plant are in demand and can be marketed directly in the local market or local retail or wholesale directly or through marketing agency.
Tips in Eggplant Growing
- Plant the seedlings where they get at least 8 hours of sung light.
- Eggplants can be grown in pots and mulch around plants for retaining moisture and weed free.
- Plants with heavy fruit load must be given wire loops or cages for support.
- Remove withered leaves and no need for pruning.
- Severe fruits when they are on high gloss as matured fruit skin become dull and tastes bitter.
- Avoid growing eggplants in cool season as they grow best in long and warm season.
- Once they reach 30 to 40 cm cut the main growing point to encourage develop more branches at lower down to keep eggplant stocky and sturdy.
Bottom Line of Eggplant Growing
Growing eggplants are fun and one can get good profits in commercial cultivation of eggplant crop as this crop can be expected high yields.