Eggplant

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[scientific name]

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Quick Reference

Optimum Soil Temperature
Days to Germination
Days to Harvest
Direct Sow or Transplant
Distance Apart
Soil pH
Annual/Biennial /Perennial 

History

Native of India where it was considered poor mans food

originally spiny and bitter.  Over the years this has been bred out.

First written record in China 500BC

European herbalists believed if you did not boil in vinegar first you would contract leprosy or your face would turn a “foul black and yellow colour”, you would develope piles and bad breath.

Name Aubergine is French, de4erived from Spanish berengena, which in turn is derived from Arabic al-badingan, from the even older Hindustani bungan.

Like good freed draining well fertilised soil.  Not too much nitrogen. weekly or fortnightly liquid fertiliser.

Good heat for at least 2 months of the growing season.

They do well in greenhouses

Stake for support

Like reasonable humidity

Whitefly can be a problem

Avoid wetting foliage when watering

Pick fruit when well formed but before they are too mature

Perennial

Similar requirements as peppers for growing.  Need sunshine and warth

10 days to germinate

grow well in pots.

Aubergines

Solanum melongena

May have been called eggplant as the first varieties were small white ovals.  Also known as madde apple, melongene, brinjal

Chinese wrote about cultivation in 5th C AD

Originated in India.  Arrived in Europe via Islamic world in the 8th century.

Treated with suspicion (much like the potato) as a member of the solanum family.

Can be purple/black but also available in golden, green, white, striped.  Long or short.

No need to salt to remove bitterness if eaten young.  Not hugely high in vitamins and minerals.  Likes fertile, well drained soil.  Full sun.  Frost tender.  Protect from wind.  Avoid high nitrogenous fertilisers.  Keep moist and weed free.

Eggplant

Solanaceae

Self pollinating

Isolation 50foot

10 plants

seed life 6 years

Seed is harvesting from overipe fruit

Solanum melangend

Matures 75-90 days from transpant

Small varieties “golden egg” suitable for containers.

20-25 C

7-14 days to germinate

60 cm apart.

Growing

Storing harvested [name]:Seed Saving:

Maintenance

Feeding:

Fun Facts

Problems

Sclerotinia – Plants wilt and die rapidly. Destroy infected plant. Avoid fluctuations in watering

Virus – streaks in foliage. Destroy infected plants. Plant resistant varieties

Poor fruit set – lack of pollination. May require hand pollination.

Pests

Aphids – plant wilts, leaves puckered and distorted. Insects under leaves or on new growth. Water regularly in dry weather.
Thrips – distortion of young leaves and silvering of older leaves.
Caterpillars – leaves chewed. Pick off caterpillars by hand

Companion Planting

Beans, Marjoram, Potatoes