Baingan ka bharta certainly makes our mouths water, doesn’t it? Brinjal or also known as an eggplant in many countries is a vegetable that is very versatile in nature. It comes from the nightshade family or Solanaceae and is used in a variety of cuisines. It’s very popular in India, especially in curries and has an amazing amount of nutrients packed in it that makes this vegetable a very good option to add to your diet. If you are thinking of planting a new veggie, grow brinjal for your next batch. The planting of eggplant is not as daunting as you might imagine and with our guide, you will be able to grow your very own brinjal plant at home. There are many varieties to pick from including colour variations like white brinjal plant, green brinjal plant as well as size like big and small brinjal plant.
Health Benefits Of Brinjal Plant
The brinjal plant is extremely low in calorie count and is power-packed with a bunch of nutrients. It contains proteins, manganese, Vitamins K and C, fibers, potassium. Baingan plant is rich in antioxidants that provide our body with protection against free radicals (free radicals are molecules that are responsible for creating diseases and illnesses). Some studies have suggested that because of the antioxidant content present in the baigan plant, it can potentially reduce the risk of any heart-related issues. Brinjals are also high in fiber content that is suggested to help in keeping your blood sugar levels in check.
How To Use Brinjal In Foods?
The Brinjal plant is a very versatile vegetable that is very famous in many Indian dishes. In foods, it can be grilled to make some amazing appetizers, stuffed and used in curries and can even be used in soups. Some variations of recipes even use it as a pizza topping which makes a very flavorful dish. The very famous dish Ratatouille that we all know of is a very famous brinjal recipe that you can definitely try out if you haven’t yet.
Varieties Of Brinjal
1] Round Purple
This variety of the brinjal plant is dark purple in colour with an oval shape. It has an erect and medium spread and can weigh anywhere between 200 to 250 gms. West Bengal, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Orissa are some of the states in India where this variety grows.
This variety is round with a thick stem and a light purple colour. Its average weight is anywhere between 150 to 200 gms with a height that is very tall. It has a spongy and meaty texture to it.
3] Long Purple
This brinjal variety is dark purple in colour with a long shape contrary to the former two varieties. Its growth is compact and erect with a green calyx that has no thorns. You can yield your harvest in about 65 to 70 days.
The pusa purple long variety is of a light purple colour and is 25 to 30 cm long with a smooth and glossy texture. This is one of the varieties that matures early and is smooth and tender.
How To Grow Your Own Brinjal Plant
When it comes to brinjal plant growing, you needn't get frightened. Here’s a guide for you to follow on how to grow your very own brinjal plant in pot – right from brinjal planting season to brinjal plant care.
1] The Right Time To Grow Brinjal
The Brinjal plant is a warm-season plant so keeping that in mind, the brinjal plant growing time generally takes place in the summer season. However, this plant is susceptible to mild frost and can be grown in June and July if you wish to grow it during winter. In northern parts of India, the crops are sown as autumn or spring season crops between April to August whereas in the southern parts they can be grown all year round. However, the brinjal growing time is between July to August. The best temperature for great yield is anywhere between 21 to 28 degrees Celsius. Make sure you give lots of care to seeds before sowing them in soil.
2] Soil Preparation
Soak the seeds overnight to boost the germination process. Ensure the soil is sandy and loamy with a slightly acidic nature somewhere between 6.3 to 6.8 pH. Add compost as fertilizer for brinjal plant and make sure there are bits of nitrogen and phosphorus. When there will be best soil for seeds, they will automatically get nutrients as required and hence will give high yield. When choosing your container make sure it has sufficient drainage holes. Clay pots are a good option as they retain heat and brinjal plants love the warm weather.
3] Planting The Seeds
Sow them loosely using the right gardening tools and make sure the seeds are not tight. Plant two seeds at once and make sure that they receive sufficient sunlight; at least 8 hours per day. The soil should be moist enough and you will have to keep a track of that.
4] Transplanting And Care
When it reaches a good 15 cm in height, you can start transplanting the seedling eggplant. Choose an outdoor location for the best yield as it has an adequate amount of sunlight. To get better productivity, you can also prune your plants if you see brinjal plant leaves start yellowing. Try to provide support for your plant by tying them to a stick as the plant can get heavy. Remove any weeds and spray pesticides to keep the plant protected. The brinjal plant flower is a rich violet in colour and if you notice any changes then tend to the plant.
5] Harvesting The Plant
It takes around 2 to 3 months for the plant to grow completely. The eggplants' growing time may differ depending on the variety and weather too. Generally, the colour turns glossy which is a good indication for you to harvest the plant. Be careful during the harvesting. Use a pruning shear or a knife to cut it from its vine. Keep a very steady and delicate hand so you do not harm the plant and cause any damage to it. The vegetable can be stored for up to 3 to 5 days for it to stay fresh.
There you have it, your very own guide to grow the brinjal small plant right to its maturity.
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1] What should I avoid planting next to my brinjal plant?
A1] Avoid planting fennel, pumpkins, beans and tomatoes next to your brinjal plant.
2] How much sunlight does the brinjal plant need?
A2] This plant loves heat and yields well in such conditions so make sure it receives at least 8 hours of direct sunlight every day.