Gardening

Cómo Cultivar Berenjenas en el Huerto Paso a Paso: Guía Completa

Hello to all gardeners! With today’s article, we are going to return to the topics related to crops , we are going to see how to grow aubergines , since the time to sow is approaching ! The eggplant , fruit from tropical and subtropical regions of Asia. Around the year 1,200 it was already cultivated in Egypt, from where it was introduced in the Middle Ages to the Iberian Peninsula and Turkey, to later spread throughout the Mediterranean and the rest of Europe. It was in the seventeenth century when it was introduced into the diet , after being used in medicine to combat skin inflammations and burns.

Properties and benefits of Eggplants

As you can see, aubergines have many properties . For example, it  contains minerals such as calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron, so it is good for preventing anemia .

It is also laxative and diuretic, and thanks to its calming effect, you can use the leaves as a remedy for herpes and burns. But above all, its antioxidant value stands out : they have antitumor activity, delay the appearance of wrinkles, and also the polyphenols in the skin reduce the levels of LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) and contribute to the regulation of glucose levels .

In addition, they are delicious stuffed with meat or battered, which is known as “garden fillets.” What are you waiting to sow them?

How to grow Eggplants step by step

We are going to explain everything you need to know to grow aubergines in the garden:

Eggplant varieties

The aubergine belongs to the Solanaceae family , a very common family among the fruits of the orchard, since within it we also find other important crops such as tomato , potato or pepper .

Its scientific name is Solanum melongena L., and in Spain, two varieties are common  : black and purple striped.  The striped one tends to like more because it is less bitter, but as always, that is your choice. There is also a special variety of aubergine for pickles.

Climate, light and soil necessary for aubergines

Like most nightshades, aubergine is a hot climate crop, which is why it is considered one of the most demanding in temperature (more than tomatoes and peppers). It supports high temperatures well , as long as the humidity is adequate, reaching up to 40-45ºC.

The average temperature must be between 23-25ºC, and it does not tolerate temperatures below 0ºC , which is why it is a spring -summer crop

As for light, it is a very demanding plant in terms of brightness, it requires 10 to 12 hours of light , so in short days it is necessary to make the most of the hours of light to avoid problems of deformation and poor fruit development.

It is not very demanding on the ground, due to its powerful and deep root system. However, in clay soils root suffocation problems can occur, quickly showing symptoms. In acid soils, it presents growth and production problems.

How to sow and plant eggplants

If you have the seed , you can start sowing in January until April , but do it in the seedbed , especially if it is cold months, so that the seed germinates correctly.

The seeds take about 10 days to germinate . Once they have developed more, they are re- plunged , that is, they are transferred to somewhat larger pots, 1,5-3 l in volume, so that the seedling is strengthened, and finally in April – May it is transplanted to the final place , with a separation between rows of 70 cm-1 meter and about 40-50 cm from plant to plant. 

How to stalk the aubergines

Tutoring will go well from the first moment . Put a cane of about 60 cm plant by plant, and fix it with a clamp, without tightening too much. You can also put a row of canes, at a maximum 1.5 meters from each other, and carry a PVC elastic rope, because if not, at the end of the development it is easy for the plant to fall with the weight .

How to water the eggplants

Watering must be abundant and regular. It is recommended to water for about 5 or 10 minutes at night , but you already know that it depends on the time of year and temperatures.

Corked in aubergines

It is carried out 15-20 days after transplanting when it is intended to make a contribution of organic matter (manure, worm castings , etc.) , covering the lower part of the plant with sand to protect it from contact with organic matter .

Hilling favors the formation of early roots and the roots of the plants, in order to increase the aeration of the land, from which the crop benefits enormously.

Formation pruning

It is carried out to define the number of stems with which the plant will develop (usually 2, 3 or 4). It is necessary to achieve greater precocity and better quality, improving the aeration and light conditions of the plant.

After hilling, the suckers (new secondary branches that compete for nutrients from the branches with flowers or fruits) and the leaves that develop below the “cross” are removed

Leafless

It is carried out on adult plants that have not been subjected to formation pruning , as it is advisable to rinse the plant to promote aeration, since the leaves are very leafy, removing some leaves from the interior and those from the lower part, as well as the dry ones. or sick. It should be done under conditions of low humidity and with dry plants.

Thinning of flowers and fruits

In the floral bouquet, only one of the 3-4 flowers will produce the main fruit, so it is advisable to eliminate the rest, to prevent nutrients from being carried away. It is advisable to thin out malformed or damaged fruits by pests or diseases.

Association of eggplant with other crops

It is compatible with zucchini , squash,  garlic, celery, onion, cabbage , endive, spinach , beans, lettuce, potato, leek, radishes, and  carrots.

Harvest of aubergines

It is a medium-long cycle crop, so the harvest begins 70-90 days after transplanting . They are usually collected from June to November,   and you have to try to collect them when they are medium, better than large: the more mature, the less flavor . It is best to pick them when they are harder to the touch and with a brighter color.

This is all about the cultivation of aubergine , I hope you are encouraged to cultivate it and share it with the entire Agrohuerto community. Soon we will publish an article on the pests and diseases of the eggplant, so that you already have all the complete instructions and you can get a good harvest of this rich vegetable.

Until the next gardeners!

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