Nutritive Value: Brinjal is one of the medicinal vegetables grown in the kitchen garden. The brinjal fruit contains 93 percent water, 4.0 percent carbohydrates, 1.4 percent protein, 1.3 percent fibers and 0.3 percent fats, and is rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, sulphur and iron and vitamins A and C.
Soil and Climate: Brinjal can be grown in a variety of soils from light to heavy but sandy loam soil is good for brinjal. It can tolerate slightly acidic soil. Brinjal requires a warm climate and can be grown year round in tropical regions. However, a dry and warm climate with temperatures ranging from 13 to 21 °C is bestsuited for good growth.
Important Varieties: Pusa Kranti, Arka Kusumakar, Arka Shirish and Arka Navaneeth are popular and highyielding varieties of brinjal grown in South India.
Planting and Irrigation: Brinjal can be grown in pots or beds. Seeds are sown during February-March for the summer crop, June-July for the rainy season crop and October-November for the winter crop. Seedlings become ready for transplanting in 3 to 4 weeks after sowing. Seedlings are transplanted on 45 cm apart between two rows and 45 cm between two plants. Irrigation should be followed immediately after transplanting. Water stress should be avoided at the flowering stage.
Plant Protection: Brinjal, like tomato, is mostly attacked by insect pests like the fruit borer whose larvae feed on tender leaves and it enters the fruit and feed on its internal parts. It can be controlled by hand picking the larvae and destroying them or spraying neem cake extract or neemark on the vegetable. Brinjal can also be attacked by white flies that suck sap from leaves and the stem. The insect flies can be captured and killed by placing yellow cards spread with grease; when they land on these cards they get stuck there and die.
Harvesting: Brinjal fruits are ready for harvesting 90 to 100 days after transplanting. Full grown but still tender fruits are harvested. It is a long season vegetable crop and harvesting can be continued for 2 to 3 months.