Growing brinjals in the fields for profit – a complete guide to brinjal cultivation from beginning to end
Growing Brinjal in the fields – Thoughtful and large scale eggplant cultivation can be a great source of income. Simply put, brinjal is a perennial plant, but most farmers plant it as an annual plant. Most commercial brinjal farmers start the crop with seeds in an internally safe environment.
While waiting for the plants to grow and preparing to plant them (usually 4-6 weeks), they prepare the field. They plow the fields and make beds and lay black plastic films in rows. Black plastic not only helps the soil stay warm, but also controls weeds.
They also design and install drip irrigation systems. When ready for transplanting, they make small holes in the plastic film, where they make small pits and transplant the plants. In most cases fertilization, drip irrigation and weed management are used.
When the plant grows to 40 cm (16 in), most farmers place the sticks in support of the plants, to improve air circulation, and to facilitate harvesting a few weeks later. The process of thinning the plants is also used.
Commercial brinjal growers remove spoiled or undeveloped fruits so that plants can use their resources to grow larger and more delicious fruits. Most commercial varieties of brinjal can be harvested 60–100 days after transplanting.
The time from transplanting to harvesting depends on the plant type, climatic conditions and age of the plants planted. Harvesting can only be done through scissors or a knife and is usually done in more than one session. After harvesting, the brinjal growing farmers run the plow into the field, destroying the residue of the crop.
They can also use crop cycles (cabbage, maize, lentils, etc.) to control diseases or to prevent soil from decay.
The restrictive factor when growing brinjal is always the climate. Brinjal plant comes from hot climate. It is very sensitive to low temperature and frost. This requires an average temperature of 21 to 30 ° C (70 to 85 ° F), while the soil temperature should not be less than 20 ° C (68 ° F).
The cold weather during the eggplant growing period will inhibit the growth of the plant and it will be almost impossible for the cold affected plants to recover and give good yields.
First of all, it is necessary to decide the method of growing brinjal as well as the varieties of flourishing eggplant in our region. There are 2 methods of growing brinjals: growing from seed and growing from plants
Grow brinjal from seed
Eggplant is a long-term crop. They require an average of 60 to 100 days from transplanting to harvesting. However, if you are planning to grow brinjal from seed, there are some facts that you need to know. First, brinjal seeds require at least 21 ° C (70 ° F) soil temperature for seeds to germinate.
Second, it is important for the seed to have the best level of moisture for the sprouts to germinate. Excess irrigation can be harmful. Brinjal seeds begin to germinate in about 8–17 days depending on the weather and soil conditions.
In areas where there is a risk of frost, farmers prefer to sow seeds in controlled beds and then plant them in final conditions. They usually use grass-fed land as the underlying layer for proper ventilation.
In areas with hot climates during spring, farmers can plant seeds directly in the field. Although this method is quite inexpensive, it causes more problems when the crop grows later.
Read More: Best Terrace Gardening Tips
Grow brinjal from plants
If you want to start plantation of brinjal from plants, it is necessary to buy disease-free plants from a legitimate vendor. After 3-4 leaves (4-6 weeks) in the plant, transplanting is best. Transplanting is more likely to occur if soil temperature does not exceed 20 ° C. Therefore, in most countries, the second part of spring is best for transplanting brinjal plants.
Soil requirements and preparation for brinjal cultivation
When growing brinjal, soil has very little inhibitory factor. However, its plants thrive best in sandy soils with proper ventilation and drainage systems. Due to its deep roots, it can tolerate more drought than the tomato plant. On the other hand, brinjal does not like wet soil at all.
The best pH level for eggplants is 6 to 7. There are also cases in which farmers have obtained average yield by growing brinjal in 8,5 pH soil, but this requires special management.
Normal preparation of soil starts about 1 month before planting the brinjal plant. Farmers plow well at that time. Tillage improves soil circulation and drainage. Also, when plowing, the soil removes pebbles and other unwanted things.
A week later, many farmers apply pre-planting manure, such as well-rotted dung manure or synthetic commercial manure, after consulting a local licensed agronomist. Most farmers spread a similar layer of manure on the field on the same day using tillage tractors.
The next day is the right time to put a drip irrigation pipe. After applying it, if the soil analysis revealed the problem of soil infection then some farmers may also add soil disinfection material through the irrigation system (ask licensed agronomist in your area).
The next and most important step is the laying of polythene in a straight line (especially in countries where the soil temperature is not sufficiently warm during the eggplant planting season).
Many producers cover the rows with black or green infrared-transmitting (IRT) or black plastic film. They use this technique to allow the root zone temperature to remain at the appropriate level (> 21 ° C or 70 ° F) and to prevent weeds from growing.
Planting eggplant outside and distance between plants
In many countries that produce eggplants, the second half of spring is the most appropriate time to plant eggplants outside. At that time, in most cases the temperature reaches close to 21 ° C (70 ° F) and the danger of frost has passed.
However, in the United States (Florida) and the United Arab Emirates, planting is usually done during August and harvesting begins after November. In general, farmers prefer plants between 4 and 6 weeks of age. By that time, they have 3 to 4 leaves. There are also cases in which farmers have planted 8–10 week saplings. Due to this technique, the time of transplanting will be reduced by transplanting.
After all the stages of preparation (plowing, general fertilization, tillage, installation of irrigation system and plastic covering) started 1 month before transplanting, we can start transplanting. Farmers mark the places on the plastic surface of polythene where they will plant small plants. They then plant saplings with holes on the plastic. It is necessary to plant the plants as deep as they were planted in the nursery.
Growers can plant brinjal plants in single or double rows. The typical pattern of transplanting in single rows is: a distance of 0.4 m to 0.8 m (18–35 in) between plants in a row and 1.2 m to 1.5 m (4–5 ft) between rows.
Farmers prefer for double rows: a distance of 0.4 m to 0.8 m (18–35 in) between plants in the row and 0.9 m to 1.2 m (3–4 ft) between rows. From this pattern, we will plant around 10000-20000 plants per hectare. However, this is not always the case.
Many farmers also plant 25.000 to 35,000 saplings per hectare. The distance and number of plants depends on the eggplant variety, environmental conditions, and of course the producer’s yield goals. (1 hectare = 2,47 acres = 10.000 square meters).
Most brinjal growers plant sticks to support their brinjal plants. There are many benefits of using this technique. Firstly, support leaves and fruits avoid contact with the ground, and also gives them more room for air circulation.
In addition, harvesting is easy. After the plant has grown to a length of 40 cm (16 in), it is best to start supporting. Farmers tie each plant to 0.5 cm (1 in) thick and 1–1.5 m (50–60 in) long timber.
Eggplant pruning – a controversial method
Some brinjal growers prefer to prune their brinjals, while others claim that pruning stunts growth and results in the fruit being late in the plant. Farmers pruning their plants do this during the early stages of development, when it has only 3-4 stems.
In this method, they force the plant to grow from two V-shaped main branches. Throughout the entire season of growing brinjal, they remove the extra leaves to maintain proper ventilation. In this way, they protect the plant from moisture infections.
In addition, some farmers remove flowers with mostly extra petals and leave only the strongest flowers on the plant. This allows the plant to distribute its nutrients much better in the remaining flowers. These flowers will give much bigger fruit in the end. Growing brinjals in the fields for profit
Eggplant Water Requirements and Irrigation Systems
According to the Uta State University, pouring 2.5-5 cm of water (1-2 inches per week) is the proper irrigation scheme for brinjal. Obviously, water requirements can be completely different depending on the different weather and soil conditions.
For example, smooth soils usually require less water than sandy soils. Also, irrigation may not be required at all when there is excess moisture in the atmosphere or during rainy days.
On the other hand, irrigation may need to be done more than once if there is a dry day with very high temperatures. Different eggplant varieties have different water requirements.
According to the general rule, the water needs of the plant increase until pollination leads to fruit. Many farmers in the Mediterranean prefer to irrigate each plant with 1 liter of water every 2-3 days during the initial stages.
During the fruit growing stages and as the temperature rises (> 35 ° C), they increase irrigation season because plants need a lot of water at these stages. At this stage, they can irrigate every day, or even twice a day, depending on the weather conditions.
During hot periods, on a cloudy day, they irrigate their brinjal plants early in the morning, and irrigate one more time at night. Watering the leaves has been linked to the outbreak of diseases. In general, diseases can be spread by excessive moisture, especially on the leaves. On the other hand, plants become susceptible to diseases due to lack of water.
Drip irrigation systems are commonly used for this. Most farmers use multiple or one-time drip strips, where there is a 20 cm (7.8 in) distance between the drips.
Brinjal is a self-pollinating plant. However, it has been reported that bees can improve pollination, and this also improves fruiting and some yield per hectare. Growing brinjals in the fields for profit
Eggplant Compost Requirements
Before using any composting method, first of all, you should keep in mind the soil condition based on the data obtained from semiannual and annual testing of your farm soil. No two farms are the same, nor can anyone recommend fertilization methods without taking into account your soil test data, tissue analysis and crop history of your farm. However, we will list the general fertilization schemes used by many farmers here.
The most commonly used fertilization method is “fertilization”. Farmers add water-soluble fertilizers to the drip irrigation system. In this way, they can provide nutrients slowly and give the plants a reasonable time to absorb them.
Nowadays, the farmers apply manure 0 to 10 times during the entire plantation period of 2 to 3 months from transplanting to harvesting. Many farmers apply pre-planted manure such as rotten cow dung manure in rows two months before transplanting.
They also pre-transplant fertilizers with high amounts of phosphorus approximately one week before transplanting and begin fertilization 10 days after transplanting. At that time, they add nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium 13–40–13 fertilizers, rich in micronutrients.
High levels of phosphorus in early stages will help in developing strong root system of plants. Additionally, in many cases micronutrients make it easier for plants to withstand any harmful conditions that may arise due to transplantation. 3 days later, they add 13–40–13 again.
In the following days, they add water-soluble NP-K 20-20-20 once a week. They continue to pour 20–20–20 until the fruit reaches of its weight. Henceforth, they begin to increase potassium levels by adding KNO3 and / or Κ₂SO4 to the brinjal. At these stages, plants usually require more potassium so that larger and better-sized fruits can grow in the plant.
Other common fertilization programs for eggplants include urea, potassium nitrate, and EDDHA. Urea is added to the irrigation system 2–4 weeks before transplanting, KNO3 is added to the final stages before harvesting 6 weeks after transplanting, while EDDHA is included throughout the entire growing period.
However, these are just general patterns that should not be followed without doing your own research. Every farm is different and has different needs. It is important to check soil nutrients and pH before using any fertilization method. You can consult your local licensed agronomist. Growing brinjals in the fields for profit
Eggplant Insects and Diseases
The crop cycle and tillage is the first precaution against insects and diseases. As a second precaution, you can only buy certified and disease-free seeds and plants.
Colorado potato beetle
Colorado Potato Beetle (Leptinotarsa dismalineta) – Despite its name – these insects attack not only potatoes, but also eggplants.
This worm stays on the ground in the winter and starts breeding during the spring. Beetle larvae eat the leaves of brinjal, causing severe damage to the entire crop. It has been reported that eggplants are safe from attack by beetles when they are planted with beans.
A good technique can be to monitor their population at all times. If their number increases drastically, you can consider intervening, but always consult your local licensed agronomist before that.
There are organic as well as chemical solutions in the market, which should always be used under GAP standards and under the supervision of a local licensed agronomist.
Lyriomyza bryonyi is one of the biggest enemies of brinjal. It looks like a small fly, however, the larvae of the insect attack the eggplant leaves, causing white holes and holes.
Eventually, the plant declines its leaves due to its failure to do photosynthesis. In addition, due to holes created by the larvae, there is a risk of infection of harmful microorganisms. Growing brinjals in the fields for profit
It may be a good technique to monitor their population at all times. If their number increases drastically, you can consider intervening, but always consult your local licensed agronomist before that.
There are organic as well as chemical solutions in the market, which should always be used under GAP standards and under the supervision of a local licensed agronomist. Growing brinjals in the fields for profit
Verticillium dahliae is a severe mildew disease that attacks eggplants, and causes the plant to die. Slow drying of leaves, and then browning is the first symptom. Infected plants may have slower growth than healthy plants. Disease control begins with appropriate preventive measures.
This includes: control of weeds and proper distances between plants, including proper pruning for good air circulation. Proper conditions for plants (nutrients, water levels, and sunlight) can also increase their immunity. When the problem is more serious, chemical treatment is often used under the supervision of a licensed agronomist.
Phytophthora (Phytophthora infestans) is a severe mildew disease that attacks eggplants.
Symptoms appear mainly on the leaves, especially during the days of high humidity, on hot days, especially after cold nights. When our plant is infected with Phytophthora we may see white, yellow or gray spots which turn brown over time. Growing brinjals in the fields for profit
Eggplant harvesting, yield and storage
Most brinjals are fully prepared 60 to 80 days after transplanting. As a general rule, farmers harvest brinjal before the seeds turn brown.
Eggplants are hand-harvested in more than 1 harvesting season. In large commercial farms in the United States, farmers harvest the same farm 1 time per week for 3-4 weeks. After years of practice, commercial farmers can get 12 to 15 full-sized brinjals from every healthy plant, but it also depends on the variety of crop harvested and the shape they want.
After years of practice, a crop of 25 to 40 tonnes per hectare is considered good. There are also cases in which farmers have harvested 60 tonnes or more per hectare. Apparently, such high yields can only be found in certain circumstances (extensive farming and many years of experience).
The eggplants are then sent to a cool location but not in extremely cold storage areas with a temperature of 10 ° C (50 ° F) to avoid losing their weight.
Do you have experience growing eggplants? Please tell us about your experiences, methods and practices in the comments below. Soon our agricultural experts will review all the ingredients you have added. Once approved, it will be put on Generalstudies4u.com and after that it will affect thousands of new and experienced farmers around the world.
Growing brinjals in the fields for profit