Hello friends, in this article I’ll show how to grow eggplants in both containers and raised beds. A compact eggplant variety that is easy to grow and tastes absolutely delicious. Let’s look at growing the container Little Prince eggplant.
Steps to grow eggplants in container
1. Sowing seeds and Potting mix
So the seeds that we’re using here are by Renee’s Garden seeds. This is a very high-quality seed and it has a very high germination rate.
We are sowing our seeds directly in this whiskey barrel container, and the potting mix that we’re using is a high draining, high porosity potting mix.
Now you can also sow these seeds into a seed starting cell. So, we are sowing our seeds in straight-up vermiculite. You can also use a seed starting mix of vermiculite, cocoa core, and compost.
Now in just a few days, you will notice that the seedlings will emerge, and once they reach to about this size that you see in the below image, it’s time to thin the seedlings.
2. Thinnig Seedlings
Now to thin the seedlings, what we do is we remove the weaker plant.
You can notice that, one of these plants is weaker than the other, so what you can do is just use some scissors to cut off the plant that is a weaker one and that allows the other plant to grow very well, and not compete for light and nutrients.
Now the other way to thin seedlings is to just pull them out, pull out the weaker plant. But be careful with this because you may disturb or end up uprooting the plant that you desire to keep, and since this is a high porosity potting mix, it’s a lot easier to just pull out the seedling.
But I always recommend that you use scissors to cut or snip the plant that you do not need, and that’s how you thin your seedlings. And then there were three.
So now there are three plants left and they will not compete with each other for light and nutrients, they’re spaced further apart. And you can notice, they’re growing pretty well.
Now 40 days since sowing, you can notice that the plants are very well established.
When we prepared the potting mix, we did use an organic fertilizer that was mixed into the soil, and you will also notice the effects of that.
The plant has grown very well. And at 48 days, you can will notice that it has started producing flowers.
The eggplant flowers are quite pretty. And remember this is a compact eggplant variety, so it grows very well within this whiskey barrel container.
3. Hand Pollinate
And as you can see, the flowers have been formed, and what you need to is to hand pollinate these flowers.
Now this is a very important step to ensure that you get a bigger yield.
And more flowers here, they’re coming in bunches. And the eggplants will also be produced in bunches as you will soon see.
Make sure that you choose a nice, sunny spot for your eggplants to grow. They do need a lot of sun.
Now as far as pruning goes, what you need to do is prune the suckers.
So you can notice the little stems that are growing from the sides of the plant, and it’s very important that you prune these and this ensures that the plant grows very well.
Now at about 58 days since sowing, we can see our first eggplant that’s been produced. And as you can see in the above image the beautiful looking eggplant.
And this plant produces smaller sized eggplants. They’re supposed to be harvested when they’re smaller.
5. First harvest
We will be doing our first harvest. And you do not have to wait too long to harvest this eggplant because they’re fresh and nice and tender at this stage.
Very soon you can see that the other flowers that were growing have also turned into this eggplant that you can soon harvest.
About the compactness of this plant.
This is a very compact plant as you can see here:
- It doesn’t need any support.
- It can grow pretty much within a small space. And I’m growing three plants in this container.
- The plant is quite healthy.
- It doesn’t have a lot of insects or diseases, I didn’t have to spray this plant with any insecticide or pesticide at all.
And once again, you can see the eggplant. This is the size that you should be harvesting your eggplant at, you shouldn’t be waiting too long.
We were able to harvest eggplants from this plant for quite a long time. You will notice, some flowers developing on this beautiful looking eggplant.
If you look at how these eggplants are produced, they’re produced in a bunch. So this bunch of eggplants really improves the yield of this plant compared to most other eggplant varieties, which usually produce one per flower or per node.
However, the eggplant is still producing eggplants as we head towards the cooler season.
What stages should you add fertilizer to grow eggplants?
I would recommend adding fertilizer once the plant starts flowering, and once after about two months after that.
Now the reason is that you need to constantly feed your plants to make sure that they grow well, and you can either use a liquid fertilizer, you can use an organic fertilizer that you can spray at the base of your plant, or you can use a soil-based fertilizer.
And 87 days into the growing season, you can see that the eggplant is still producing very heavily. Since these eggplants are small, you expect the plant to produce a lot of eggplants, and that’s exactly what this plant does.
It produces a lot of eggplants so that you get a decent harvest, and then you can keep harvesting your eggplants for quite some time.
Now, this eggplant has very few seeds as you can see here, almost no seeds if you harvest it at the right time. And one of the mistakes people make with eggplants is they harvest them pretty late, and that’s not a good thing. You need to harvest them early so that you get tender eggplants.
Now at 102 days since the harvest, you can notice that the eggplant is still producing a lot of eggplants, and it’s still producing eggplants in bunches, and it’s still producing eggplants going into the cooler months as well.
As you can see, pretty sturdy eggplants, they didn’t need any support, no trellis, and are still growing in a very nice way.
And this is exactly what this eggplant is, container Little Prince. It is very well suited for growing in containers and quite good if you don’t have a lot of space to grow eggplants.
Even at 130 days since sowing, you will notice that the plant is still producing eggplants. And it’s well into the winter season now.
What we’re gonna do is keep harvesting this eggplant till it produces these eggplants. And this is gonna be till December or so. And after that, what we’re gonna try is to overwinter this eggplant.
Now this eggplant is slowing down. There are a few flowers produced, but not much.
And since it keeps getting hot and cold here in my area, what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna do our harvest till they produce the eggplants. So this is December and it is 173 days into the growing season, and we’re still getting eggplants.
So, what we’re going to do is to harvest these eggplants till they produce them, which is till about December or so, after which it starts getting really cold.
And we’re gonna try and overwinter it, which means that we’re gonna leave this plant in our container and see if it survives through the winter season.
5 tips to grow best eggplants ever
1. Starting your plants early: Sow seeds 6 weeks before the last frost date.
- Fish fertilizer is one of the best fertilizers you can give to your plants.
- Earthworm tea is also excellent for your plants.
- Epsom salt is natural and contains magnesium and sulfur which are essential to growing eggplants
- You can also use all-purpose fertilizers. It will provide a lot of beneficial nutrients
3. Pest Management
Aphids are common insects that attack the eggplants. So to get rid of aphids you can sprinkle the neem oil. You can also use castile soap. You can also wash your plants thoroughly
4. Growing Conditions
Choose a nice sunny location for your eggplants whether you are growing in containers or raised beds. Make sure they get at least 6-8 hrs of sunlight. also, make sure you are pollinating your eggplants using a toothbrush. By pollinating each flower of your eggplant you will ensure that each of them develops into a fruit or an eggplant.
5. Plant a rainbow
It means planting a lot of varieties of eggplants. Planting different colored eggplant and different varietes of eggplant will not only make your garden look better its good for your health as well. Eggplants comes in a lot of sizes and color and each one has unique taste and characterisics.
So there we have it folks, that was our article on how to grow eggplants in containers.
If you have grown this eggplant variety before, do put in a comment in the comments box below. And if you liked this article, please share your love for gardening.
See you again soon, happy gardening.
You may also like to read our article on How to grow cucumbers from seed in a pot [Step by Step Guide]