Do you love the delicious brinjal masala, stuffed brinjals or baingan ka bhurta? Also known as eggplant in English and baingan in Hindi, brinjal is one of the most commonly found vegetables in the Indian vegetable market. Their glossy dark purple, lavender or green color is attractive and appetizing. You can grow brinjals at home in your kitchen garden, terrace, etc. in containers. With proper knowledge about how to plant, water, fertilize and protect the plant, you can reap an excellent harvest at home. In this article, we will discuss some of the most important steps to grow brinjals in containers.
Choosing the right variety
Brinjal plants come in many different varieties. Some of the popular ones include Fairytale, Little Fingers, Orient Express, etc. Select the one that you want to grow and is most suitable for your region and climate.
Providing suitable climate
Brinjals grow best in a warmer climate. Cold or frosty climatic conditions are not suitable for this plant. This is the reason why these Brinjals grow better in Southern parts of India. However, if you live in northern regions, make sure that you plant the seeds during warmer months of summer.
Preparing the soil
This plant grows well in sandy or loam soil that drains sufficiently fast and does not hold too much water in it. However, care should be taken that the soil doesn’t become too dry. Adding organic manure and lime to the soil will supply the plant with sufficient nutrients and calcium that it needs for good growth.
Containers to use
Choose a container that is large enough to have about 12 to 14 inches space between two plants. A large five-gallon container is ideal. Using unglazed container is better than a glazed one as it allows the excess water to evaporate preventing the soil from getting soggy. However, don’t forget to water the plant regularly if you use an unglazed pot.
You can either buy the baby plants from a nursery or buy brinjal plant seeds that you can sow in pots to grow your own plants. The plants should be replanted in rows keeping a distance of about 12-18 inches between them.
Water the plant in moderation. Increase the frequency during hotter seasons while reducing it in colder weather.
It is important that your container is exposed to the sunlight for 6-8 hours. Never keep the containers in the shade as this may stunt the plant growth and diminish the quality of the produce.
Known to be a heavy feeder, adding fertilizers periodically during the growing period of the brinjal plant to improve and maintain the nutritional quality of the soil is important.
Brinjal plants have delicate stems that need support in the form of stakes of wooden sticks in order to bear the weight of mature brinjals. Make sure there is enough space for this while choosing the container.
Sufficient watering is important to keep the brinjal plant healthy and also keep pests away. Drying out of soil can cause pest problems. If you notice any diseases like verticillium wilt or flea beetles, etc. you should use a good pesticide or insecticide to deal with the problem.
Removing any weeds growing in the pot is important to make sure that your brinjal plants get sufficient nutrition.