Choice of container
The choice of container is decisive. The aubergine is in fact an extremely vigorous plant and, to give an abundant harvest, requires ample space. If you want to grow it on the balcony, you can go for small varieties or choose very large containers.
We never go below 35 cm in diameter and depth, although for optimal results it is advisable to stay above 40 cm in all directions.
The best materials are plastic and wood. The first, besides being economical, is not very breathable. It will help us in the summer to prevent the earth from drying out too early.
Wood, on the other hand, is an excellent insulator, keeping the soil fresh for longer.
- The eggplant is one of the most present vegetables on the tables of Italians, and is used for the preparation of many dishes, from first courses to side dishes. With a little attention, it is possible to cultivate a wide variety of vegetables.
- The eggplant is a vegetable that grows mainly in a climate at high temperatures, especially where the temperature even at night does not drop above 12-15 ° C. For this reason, the cultivation of this vegetable is a…
Balcony aubergine varieties
When choosing aubergines for balconies, it is a good idea to choose small or medium-sized varieties. Some of them have even been specially designed: the beautiful Slim Jim, which produces bunches of small elongated fruits, the Red Ruffled, the “Patio Mixed” and the Ophelia F1.
Alternatively, the elongated varieties are generally smaller, as are the white fruit varieties.
Since it is not possible to cultivate many specimens, we also recommend, if you buy the plants, to turn to the grafted ones: they resist better to radical diseases and give much more abundant harvests.
Exposure and climate
To grow and bear fruit they need light and above all heat. The ideal climate must have daytime temperatures between 22 and 26°C and night-time temperatures between 15 and 18°C. The greatest danger is the sudden changes in temperature, which can lead to abortion of the flowers and damage the apexes. In the north and in the alpine areas, until June, it is advisable to keep the pots by a warm wall and protect them during the night with special fabric, in case there should be a cool period.
Excessive heat is almost never a problem when supported by frequent irrigation. However, it can cause the appearance of red spider, especially on balconies.
Soil and vase composition
Like all solanaceae, it requires substrates rich in organic matter and able to stay fresh for a long time, but also with good drainage. The ideal is to create the mixture yourself by combining 3 parts of field soil, 2 parts of compost and one part of coarse sand. Every 10 litres of soil we add about 30 g of manure and a spoonful of slow release granules for vegetables, rich in potassium.
It is very important to create a thick draining layer on the bottom, based on expanded clay.
Eggplants require regular irrigation, especially in the early stages of development and at the time of setting. We recommend distributing water regularly to prevent the soil from drying out completely. However, it is absolutely necessary to avoid wetting the leaves and the collar to avoid the appearance of cryptogams and rottenness. The saucer can be useful in the hottest periods, but always empty it until June.
In order to produce an abundant harvest, an eggplant needs a soil that is extremely rich in organic matter and a large supply of nutrients. The ideal is to mix floured or pelleted manure with the initial soil, together with slow release granules. This is usually sufficient for the first three months. Then we can choose to distribute the granular again or use a liquid product.
These are truly effective at the time of fruit growth and ripening. They are excellent for flowering plants, with a high potassium content. We can distribute them according to the doses and times indicated on the label or dilute them to the maximum and add them to the daily irrigation water.
For example, excellent results can be obtained if you have continuous distribution thanks to automatic irrigation systems, now widespread on balconies.
In pots it is important to support the plant, prevent it from growing too much and optimize its performance. We recommend the use of a guardian and apical trimming, when the height of 40 cm has been reached. Further lateral selvedges will increase the tillering and the production of flower-fruits.
Pest and disease collection
Harvesting takes place before ripening: the flesh must be firm, but the seeds must not have developed yet.
Pests and diseases
The most common parasites are dorifora, thrips, aleurodids, aphids and bedbugs: let’s fight them with natural or macerated pyrethrum-based products. The red spider is common on balconies, especially in dark leaf varieties: let’s avoid them if possible. A good prevention is the maintenance of high humidity and any slight shading in the afternoon.
Rottenness and botrytis are prevented by avoiding stagnation and not by wetting the leaves.
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