LARGE eggplant (microolanum scream) is a vegetable-fruit of the Solanaceae family, a cousin of the tomato, potato, pepper, Peruvian cockroach or pear, In our latitudes, we cultivated especially as an annual plant since among its basic needs for flowering and fruiting, the sun and heat are at the top!
he cultivation of eggplant appeared in Spain in the 10th century under the influence of the Moors who imported this vegetable from India, its region of origin. Then it gradually spread to Europe. found in Italy, initially, in the 15th century and then in the other countries of the old continent from the 17th century.
Its French name is derived from the Catalan ‘alberginia’, itself derived from the Arabic word ‘al-bedendjena’.
For the record, for history, for purely formal reasons, aubergine remains known in England as the ‘egg plant’ because of the shape and color of the first white and egg-shaped varieties imported from across the Channel.
In a favorable climate, hemlock, perennial, can reach up to 2 meters in height. However, in our latitudes it is rather cultivated as an annual in a more compact form and rarely exceeds one meter in height.
This bushy plant is characterized by large leaves covered with small downy hairs. Another peculiarity, hemelijana is covered with thorns, both on the stems and at the base of the fruits, in the sepals. remnants of wild forms of Solanaceae.
From June to September, white or purple flowers bloom before giving way to shiny, thick, smooth-skinned fruit, whose shape and color vary by variety.
the eggplant fruit can thus be oblong or rounded, white, purple, striped or even purple black. As for their flesh, it is characterized by their unique spongy texture.
When and How to Sow Eggplant?
Like tomatoes, eggplant seeds are sown from February to April-May, in pots, trays or even in honeycomb cases, in a warm place (18/20°C). Once the plants have developed two to four leaves, they can be transferred to individual pots. They then continue their growth in a well-exposed greenhouse or terrace until planting.
Seedling soot (yellowing) is one of the frequent problems to be faced when sowing eggplant. It is recommended for this to place the pots behind a window, at a temperature of 18-20° to offer them the light and heat they need to develop properly.
Only when the danger of frost has passed, towards the end of May, can we plant eggplants in the ground, with a distance between them of 40 to 50 cm.
On the other hand, it makes sense to tap your legs as they grow to facilitate rooting and therefore optimal growth.
In addition to heat and light, eggplants also require rich soil, deep soil and regular watering to keep the soil fresh. A soil that is too dry leads to premature parachute flowers.
In the north of the country, eggplant cultivation benefits from being carried out in greenhouses, the only way to achieve a satisfactory harvest. In the South, too, growing in greenhouses or shelters is more profitable than growing in the ground.
Size And Maintenance
Unlike tomatoes, eggplant does not require Cut gourmet. We keep the main stem of the foot and then remove the first flower to encourage good plant growth as a priority.
Lateral branches are then shortened to maintain a maximum of two fruits per branch.
BIG’red spider, aphids, beetles, slugs and mold are the main enemies and diseases of eggplant.
While the first two do little damage, the satellites and slugs, when on them, nibble the leaves. As with potatoes, regular and careful observation of the leaves is necessary to control and limit the presence of beetles.
The leaves may also be covered with brown spots and dry. It is a form of mold. The disease develops especially when cultivation is done in a greenhouse, in a limited environment. To prevent its appearance, ventilate regularly, reduce watering and above all avoid wetting the foliage. It is also possible to act preventively against these fungal attacks by spraying a decoction of horsetail or nettle.
When To Harvest?
the eggplant are picked between 4 and 5 months after being unfinished. Then pick the fruits when they are not too big (15cm maximum), because of the bitterness they tend to get as they grow. We harvest an average of 6 to 8 eggplants per foot.
Rich in fiber, water, minerals, vitamins B1, B6, C and provitamin A. eggplant is a low-calorie vegetable with antioxidant properties thanks to its content of phenols and anthocyanins, which are especially present in the skin.
It is eaten cooked (stewed, baked, fried, grilled, etc.), but it should be noted that it tends to absorb fat during cooking.
Recommended Varieties of Eggplant
Far from the standard fruit we are used to finding on supermarket shelves, eggplant is distinguished by a very wide variety of colors, ranging from white to green to red, yellow, violet, purple and even black. Small, round, elongated or pear-shaped, its shape is also varied.
Rotunda White Shadow With Pink
Old variety of Italian origin as its name suggests, oval or rounded in shape, with white skin with large purple spots. Its firm, white flesh is sweet. It is also found under the name Rotunda Romanesca.
the cultivation of eggplant presents as such a real interest, both from a decorative and from a taste and culinary point of view.