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Solanum melongena
( Eggplant )

Eggplants want much the same soil conditions as tomatoes, but they are also a little more sensitive, being generally susceptible to wilts, and fond of near-tropical weather. Growing in pots can help alleviate or lessen some of these concerns. Warming the soil with plastic ground covers, and situating the plantings near south-facing walls can also help keep things warm enough. Sow seeds indoors in early spring, and germinate at about 70 degrees F. Transplant to pots when seedlings reach 2 inches high, and harden off and plant outside when the soil is warm and danger of frost has passed. Space plants 18 inches apart. Tomato fertilizer and plenty of water will help the plants develop nice fruits. Expect about 4 eggplants per plant.
Important Info : Susceptible to wilts and fond of near-tropical weather.


How to Grow this Plant:


Where can you buy this plant: click here!

Characteristics
Cultivar:n/a  
Family:Solanaceae  
Size:Height: 0 ft. to 0 ft.
Width: 0 ft. to 0 ft.  
Plant Category:climbers, vegetables,  
Plant Characteristics:seed start, spreading,  
Foliage Characteristics: 
Foliage Color:green,  
Flower Characteristics: 
Flower Color: 
Tolerances:heat & humidity,  
Requirements
Bloomtime Range:not applicable  
USDA Hardiness Zone:9 to 10  
AHS Heat Zone:Not defined for this plant  
Light Range:Sun to Full Sun  
pH Range:Not defined for this plant  
Soil Range:undefined  
Water Range:Normal to Normal  

Plant Care



Fertilizing
Light
Conditions : Full Sun

Full Sun is defined as exposure to more than 6 hours of continuous, direct sun per day.

Watering
Conditions : Water Conditions

When selecting Water Conditions, take into account the amount of water this particular area of your site receives naturally. If you have an irrigation system, select the default normal. Some sites may be naturally wet due to boggy areas by down spots or very dry due to a high sand content. By working with your site's natural conditions, you will reduce maintenance. Do note that even the most drought tolerant plant must first become established, so be willing to provide about 1 inch of water per week during the first year or two.

Conditions : Outdoor Watering

Plants are almost completely made up of water so it is important to supply them with adequate water to maintain good plant health. Not enough water and roots will wither and the plant will wilt and die. Too much water applied too frequently deprives roots of oxygen leading to plant diseases such as root and stem rots. The type of plant, plant age, light level, soil type and container size all will impact when a plant needs to be watered. Follow these tips to ensure successful watering:

* The key to watering is water deeply and less frequently. When watering, water well, i.e. provide enough water to thoroughly saturate the root ball. With in-ground plants, this means thoroughly soaking the soil until water has penetrated to a depth of 6 to 7 inches (1' being better). With container grown plants, apply enough water to allow water to flow through the drainage holes.

* Try to water plants early in the day or later in the afternoon to conserve water and cut down on plant stress. Do water early enough so that water has had a chance to dry from plant leaves prior to night fall. This is paramount if you have had fungus problems.

* Don't wait to water until plants wilt. Although some plants will recover from this, all plants will die if they wilt too much (when they reach the permanent wilting point).

* Consider water conservation methods such as drip irrigation, mulching, and xeriscaping. Drip systems which slowly drip moisture directly on the root system can be purchased at your local home and garden center. Mulches can significantly cool the root zone and conserve moisture.

* Consider adding water-saving gels to the root zone which will hold a reserve of water for the plant. These can make a world of difference especially under stressful conditions. Be certain to follow label directions for their use.



Conditions : Normal Watering for Outdoor Plants

Normal watering means that soil should be kept evenly moist and watered regularly, as conditions require. Most plants like 1 inch of water a week during the growing season, but take care not to over water. The first two years after a plant is installed, regular watering is important for establishment. The first year is critical. It is better to water once a week and water deeply, than to water frequently for a few minutes.

Planting
How-to : Preparing Garden Beds

Use a soil testing kit to determine the acidity or alkalinity of the soil before beginning any garden bed preparation. This will help you determine which plants are best suited for your site. Check soil drainage and correct drainage where standing water remains. Clear weeds and debris from planting areas and continue to remove weeds as soon as they come up.

A week to 10 days before planting, add 2 to 4 inches of aged manure or compost and work into the planting site to improve fertility and increase water retention and drainage. If soil composition is weak, a layer of topsoil should be considered as well. No matter if your soil is sand or clay, it can be improved by adding the same thing: organic matter. The more, the better; work deep into the soil. Prepare beds to an 18 inch deep for perennials. This will seem like a tremendous amount of work now, but will greatly pay off later. Besides, this is not something that is easily done later, once plants have been established.

Problems
Miscellaneous
Glossary : Seed Start

Seed Start: easily propagated from seed.

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