Grow your own Eggplant
Eggplants (also known as aubergines or brinjals) are a staple in Mediterranean cooking, and also feature widely in vegetarian recipes due to their meaty, fleshy texture. Eggplant seedlings grow well in the temperate climate of the Western Cape, provided they receive enough sunlight and water. Here’s what you need to know:
Step-by-step guide to growing your own Eggplants
- Choose a sunny, sheltered area of your garden where the soil drains well. Remove any large rocks or debris from the soil and work in a generous amount of compost.
- Plant seedlings 2cm deep and 60cm apart and water well. When buying seedlings look for plants with dark green, fully opened leaves.
- Feed your eggplant seedlings with a potassium-rich fertiliser after planting and just after the plant has flowered.
- Keep your seedlings moist – they need about 3cm of water a week, so water them regularly if it doesn’t rain.
- Mulching your seedlings will help to keep the soil moist and also discourage the growth of weeds.
- Your eggplants will be ready to harvest after about five months (they should be 10-15cm long). Harvest them by cutting them off at the stem. Once picked they will keep for up to two weeks in the fridge.
Did you know? Eggplants are rich in folic acid and potassium, making them an excellent choice for pregnant women.
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