Grow Diary: Eggplant

Premier Seeds Direct AUB11 Aubergine - Baby Belle F1-15 Seeds
  • Days To Germination: 10 to 20 days. Optimum Soil Temp. For Germination: 70 to 80F.
  • Days To Harvest: 80 days. Planting Depth: 1/4inch.
  • Spacing, Plant: 15 to 20 inches. Light: Sunny Location / under glass
  • When 3 -4 inches high plant to growing position, (container or 3 -4 per grow bag), best under glass.
  • These will not tolerate cold conditions. Keep pest free.
  • Test Plants: Eggplant (F1 Baby Belle)
  • Growth Medium: Aqua Vega - 1:300 - pH 6.5
  • Location: Conservatory
  • Hydroponics Setup: 10L Kratky hydroponics system

Eggplant (F1 Baby Belle) seeds were germinated in a heated germinator (Garland Fab4 Electric Propagator) using Root Riot Organic Starter Cubes. Only one of the seeds sprouted after 6 days, which was then transferred to the 10L Kratky hydroponics bucket containing Aqua Vega nutrient media at a concentration of 1:300, pH 6.5.

The seedling was quite slow to grow at first (possibly due to the trauma of moving it into the new environment) but after a month or so began to grow strongly. By day 68 post-seed start, the first flower buds were observed on the plant, and part of the stem had become woodified. Unfortunately, around this time, the nutrient media started to run out, and the test grow was terminated just as the flowers started to bloom.

The key take-away from this experiment is that although eggplant plants can grow very nicely in the Kratky hydroponics system, the fixed nutrient volume of the system makes getting any sort of yield of eggplant fruit unfeasible. As a consequence, something akin to a recirculating hydroponics system should be used for eggplant grows where nutrient media can be topped up and adjusted as needed.

Day 15

Day 22

Day 35

Day 45

Day 55

Day 68

The first flower buds

Part of the stem becoming woodified

Day 74 - the roots