If you’ve been following the tips presented in our previous articles, then there’s a good chance you’ve sharpened your gardening skills and are experiencing the joy of nurturing a thriving green thumb. The best way to take your gardening skills to the next level is to extend your harvest and make the most of your garden space.
Choosing to grow eggplants in your garden is a great way of fulfilling that vision. These plants bear small to medium-sized fruits and grow relatively well in containers and raised beds; thus, making them an excellent plant to harvest in your indoor garden.
Rich in dietary fiber, vitamin B1, and copper, not only are eggplants highly nutritious but they also make for the perfect grilled dish to go on the side. So read on to learn out tips for growing eggplants indoors.
Fertilizing the Soil for Your Eggplants
Eggplants are mostly warm-seasoned plants and grow best in sunny and well- drained conditions. Although raised beds that are treated with high-quality manure and compost are generally more preferred, eggplants grow relatively well in containers that are fed with fertile soil too (preferably with a pH level that ranges between 6.3 and 6.8).
Having a coarse and leathery texture, the leaves of eggplants are built to endure harsh and warm conditions. Despite this, it’s best to enrich your soil with a generous mulch of hay, shredded dry leaves, and other biodegradable materials regularly. Not only will doing this help the soil keep cool but it will also help lock moisture and tame any weeds.
Planting and Providing Care for Your Eggplants
Since eggplant is predominantly a summer-thriving plant, people living in colder climates must try and increase the ambient temperature surrounding the plant. Growing plants in row covers or in large and dark-colored containers is an excellent way of achieving this.
Generally speaking, eggplants grow into tall and angular plants. Therefore, it makes sense to space them between 24 and 36 inches apart. While setting the saplings in containers, make sure you add at least 2 inches of compost so as to hold moisture and fertilize the soil. You might also want to feed the soil with regular liquid plant food so as to ensure it is well-nourished at all times.
Harvesting and Storing Your Eggplants
Experts recommend keeping a close eye on your plant’s seeds before harvesting. An eggplant which is ready to be harvested will spout small seeds as well as a hard flesh inside.
While a fruit with no seeds indicates it’s immature, a fruit with rather large seeds indicates it’s over ripe. Your best bet is to harvest your eggplant when it stops growing larger in size. Additionally, a perfect and ripe fruit that is ready to be harvested will sport a glossy skin as well as a sprinkle of well-formed yet small and immature seeds inside.
While harvesting, always harvest your eggplants using pruning shears as opposed to plucking or tugging at them by hand. Once harvested, you can rinse them clean, pat them dry, and refrigerate them for several days.
Get eggplant seeds to grow your very own!