Eggplant, by its scientific name, belongs to the Solanum melongena, Solanaceae family. It is a perennial cultivar growing in a single tree in warm climates and a small tree in tropical climates. The first breeding of eggplants was carried out in India in the 5th century BC. After this date, it was brought to Africa, then to the Eastern Mediterranean and to Europe. It was brought to Europe in the 16th century by the Spanish. Eggplant, which was used as an ornamental plant in its first introduction to Europe, ranks 6th among the fresh vegetables produced in the world. Human beings are the only species that consume eggplant because of its low nicotine content. While it displays perennial plants in tropical regions, it is one year in the climate belts outside this generation.
Eggplant comes after tomato, pepper and cucumber production among the vegetables produced in the world. When the data of the last decade are examined; world eggplant production in China 50.6%, India 30.1%, in Turkey they share with 3.8% the first three places, especially the last five years, China has increased production; India and Turkey, while the production is observed that much has changed.
Eggplant is used in the cuisine of many countries. Due to its texture and mass, it is sometimes used instead of meat in vegan and vegetarian kitchens. The seeds do not need to be removed. It is okay to eat its thin skin and therefore it does not need to be peeled. Eggplant meat is smooth. Eggplant can be steamed, fried, deep fried, barbecued, roasted, boiled, curried or pickled. Food can be made by filling the eggplant. You can make a salad by crushing the eggplant or fry it in slices by cutting it into oil.
Eggplant is a vegetable with a high nutritional value. The calorie value of 100 g of aubergines is 24. In 100 gr eggplant; There are 1.1 g protein, 2 g fat, 5.5 g carbs. In terms of vitamin content; 100 grams contain 30 IU of vitamin A, 0.4 mg of vitamin B1, 0.5 mg of vitamin B2, 5 mg of vitamin C.
Unless confused in eggplants, the roots develop as a dominant pile root and lateral roots on the sides. Pile roots go to 130 cm soil depth under suitable conditions. In the stunned plant, several roots develop on the pile root. Side roots also emerge from these roots. But the roots occurring in progressive circuits develop as the pile root and take the eaves rooted structure. Side roots can spread to a depth of 80-100 cm and the environment. 70-80% of the roots descend to a depth of 5-40 cm. A lot of branching occurs at the roots and there are absorbent hairs on the branches.
Eggplant has a flower structure. The flowers occur on the leaf seats. In some varieties, 1 flower in 2-3 knuckles, in some varieties 2-4 flower buds are formed in one knuckle. Male organs are 5-8 in yellow color and in compound form. Male organs mature 12 hours before blooming and lose their maturity after 2 days. The female organs reach fertilization 2 days before the flower blooms and lose their maturity 4 after the flowers bloom. Self fertilization is 60-80%. Petals are 5 (sometimes 6-8) purple, light blue and blue. Plate leaves are 5-8 pieces, yellow and composite.
The stem is quite strong in a developed plant. It has a woody structure. Plant height is 60-100 cm on average. The body is round. It starts to branch after 4-5 knuckles. The leaves show different variations starting from narrow and small to thin long and large wide. In some varieties, the leaf may be split. Leaf edges are generally straight. The color of the leaf starts from green and varies from green to purple with the accumulation of anthocyan inside the cell in different sizes. The leaf is small pubescent and the underside of the leaf is larger. Leaf veins are quite evident. The leaf joins the stem with a round stem, and the length of the stem is on average 5-10 cm. The hair on the vein and stalk is thicker and somewhat thorny.
10-30 fruits can be taken from one plant. Eggplant consists of parthenocarpic fruit. Since eggplant flowers are melted, no problem is encountered in fruit set, if necessary climate demands and proper growing techniques are used. In the greenhouse cultivation of eggplant, which is a hot climate plant, the night dust drops below 16 ° C and the intensity of illumination decreases, and the dust and liveliness of the eggplant reduces. Since fertilization is interrupted in this period, close to 70% of flowers bloom, which is reflected to producers as product loss.
Plant growth regulators have been used until recent times to promote the eggplant’s fruit set. However, due to their negative effects on human health, the use of these chemicals in fruit set is prohibited in many countries. Instead, the use of bamboo bees has become widespread in greenhouse cultivation in order to encourage fruit set during these critical periods.
Eggplant is a hot climate vegetable. The plant loses its life at -1 Cº. Suitable temperature values for the growth and development of eggplants are 25-30 ° C. The night temperature drops below 16 ° C and low light intensity reduces the viability of the flower dust in eggplant. These conditions disrupt the fruit set. Eggplant tends to develop vegetatively when the temperature and relative humidity are high.
Eggplant can be successful on any good agricultural soil, if proper cultivation techniques are used. Root rot is caught in heavy and humid soils. For the growth and development of eggplant, fertile sandy loam soils rich in organic matter, pH 6-7, well-drained, should be preferred. If early yield is desired, especially sandy loam soils are ideal. If it is desired to get longer yield and temporarily, heavier textured soils can be preferred. Since eggplant is sensitive to root rot, cultivation should be avoided in heavy clay soils. Nematode problems are mostly seen in sandy soils. The soil to be produced eggplant is fertilized first. A deep release is made in the fall. It is leveled by pulling a rake with a springy version. After that, spools or pans are prepared according to the irrigation systems to be made in the growing period of eggplants.
Since eggplants are mostly watered in the furrow (bobbin) method, planting is done on the neck points of the bobbin in single or double rows. For this purpose, in practice mostly single tubes with a width of 0.40 – 0.50 m are prepared. The row spacing varies between 0.70 – 1.00 m depending on the development strength of the variety and soil condition. A distance of 0.50 – 0.60m is usually left on the bench. The purposes of using mulch in eggplant is to control weed, keep soil moisture uniform in the irrigation intervals, clean the first fruits, prevent the upper part of the plant from contacting with the soil, and therefore the development of the disease, and increase the soil temperature in the winter period in greenhouse cultivation. Generally, the use of polyethylene covers as mulch and their properties vary according to the purpose of use.
Eggplant loves stable and commercial fertilizers. In autumn, 5-6 tons of burnt barnyard manure should be given to the eggplant field per decare. In addition to barn manure, commercial manure should be given. 8-12 kg nitrogen, 8-10 kg phosphorus and 8-10 kg potassium should be given. Some growers consider it useful to give sherbet or apply a nitrogenous fertilizer in order to strengthen the development of the plant towards the end of development and to get good products for the last time.