Growing white eggplants in organic farming. This time, I will handle eggplant plant care. In the previous article, the white eggplants were nearly given up on for harvesting, but their growth has rebounded. We managed to reach the eggplant harvest season somehow. (I asked the staff at the rented field why the white eggplants became harvestable, but they couldn’t determine the reason.)
Due to a potential illness or other reasons, the white eggplants were not bearing any fruits at all, so I had all but given up on cultivation. (Around late June)
Eggplant growing guide (Best way to grow white eggplant in a home garden.)
Best soil for eggplant and best time to plant eggplant
For white eggplants, soil preparation was around late March. The best fertilizer for organic eggplant cultivation is a fully ripened cattle manure, canola cakes, and fully matured chicken manure. Summer vegetables like eggplants and tomatoes, which are grown gardens, have a suitable planting period from late April to early May. Therefore, we prepare the soil to match this planting period. (Organic fertilizers take about a month to integrate into the soil.)
For this season’s eggplant cultivation, we raised the bed to improve water drainage.
The white eggplant planting season was towards the end of April. After planting, temporary stake is set up next to the eggplant. The eggplant growing season is quite lengthy, spanning around 5 months from seedling planting to the end of cultivation. (If eggplant seedlings are planted in late April, they can be cultivated until around late September.)
Staking eggplant and additional fertilizer for eggplant
The white eggplant stakes were replaced in early June. (Transition from temporary stake to thicker stake.) For the white eggplants, a single thicker stake, measuring 150cm (4.9 feet) in length and 1.6cm (0.63 inch) in diameter.
In early June, we also fertilized the white eggplants. The fertilizer used for this additional fertilizing was chicken manure. Since we are cultivating eggplants organically, we are using organic fertilizers as well. (Organic chicken manure is a best fertilizer for eggplant.)
Growing eggplant vertically (Double stakes for white eggplants)
By mid-June, the side stems of the white eggplants started growing. As the side stems extend, it’s time for eggplant pruning.
There are various ways to prune eggplant stems, such as the container-friendly “single-stake" method or the open-field suited “triple-stakes" method. For this season, we adopted the “double-stakes" pruning method for the eggplants.
Eggplant harvest time (Harvest season for grown white eggplant seedling)
Throughout this cultivation period, the fruits didn’t develop at all, and I had almost given up, but I’m relieved to have managed to reach the harvest. Use pruning shears to cut fruits from the stem. (The calyx can be prickly, so gloves are helpful.)
The suitable size for harvesting white eggplants is around 10 to 12 cm (3.9 to 4.7 inch). Don’t wait too long to harvest! Eggplant tastes best when harvested young.
If the harvesting timing is missed and the fruits become too large, both the taste of the eggplant itself deteriorates and the plant becomes exhausted. Let’s make sure to harvest eggplants at the appropriate size and timing. By doing so, the eggplant plants will last longer, and as a result, you’ll be able to harvest plenty of eggplants.
White eggplant growing tips (Harvesting eggplants while conducting fertilization and pruning)
From here on, we will continue harvesting while regularly conducting fertilization and pruning. The fertilization spots are 2 locations, just below the white eggplant bed. Every month, we will apply about 30cc (1 oz) of chicken manure as additional fertilizing per location.
When it comes to pruning eggplants, the method of harvesting both the fruit and the side stem together, known as “one stem, one fruit" is recommended. With this approach, you can prevent “stamina depletion" in eggplants and enjoy cultivation and harvesting for a longer period.
Eggplants have a long cultivation period (Eggplant growth time is long). By growing eggplants using the “one stem, one fruit" method and preventing the plants from becoming exhausted, you can continue harvesting until late September to early October.
Following is the video for how-to. English subtitles are available.