Eggplants are a warm-season crop that may be collected from mid-to-late-summer, and they taste the finest when picked early. They are versatile veggies that may be used in various ways, making them a favorite vegetable harvest among growers.
Will eggplant, as a warm-weather vegetable, with stand the winter? Is it possible to have it blooming even when the climate becomes cold? Read on this to know will eggplant survive the winter?
Continue reading to see if aubergines can withstand cold weather and what you should do to preserve young eggplants in optimal growth circumstances.
Yes, eggplants will withstand the winter since they keep growing and blossoming. Growth, on the other hand, will be slower and less efficient.
It’ll also raise the likelihood of their blooms falling and fruits failing to produce adequately. These are warm-weather veggies that demand warmer concentrations and more sunlight!
Temperature Requirements of eggplant
The temperature needs for eggplant are significant. To grow, they require temperatures ranging from 20°C – 30°C (70°F – 85°F) as well as lots of sunshine.
Frost or temperatures exceeding 35°C (95°F) can cause development to be delayed and significant tissue and blossom injury. In all eggplant-producing nations, the optimal time to start growing eggplant is from the second part of April.
If you want to start producing eggplants using seeds, ensure you get approved seeds from a reputable source. Otherwise, sprouting changes will most likely be minimal, and you will waste your time.
Please remember that eggplant seeds do have limited cold endurance. As a result, you might consider sowing them predominantly in seedbeds with soil temperatures between 21 and 25 degrees Celsius (70 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit).
Turf may also be used as a foundation for maximum aeration. If you intend to develop more than a single plant, ensure at least 40 centimeters (16 inches) between each one.
When you don’t need to deal with seeds, you can purchase your seedlings from a reputable source and transfer them straight into their ultimate placements. Consider that eggplant transplantation will most likely fail at temperatures below 21°C – 70°F.
Flowers reliably bore fruit at temperatures as low as 60 degrees Fahrenheit at nighttime. At conditions under 50 degrees Fahrenheit, eggplants start to suffer frost harm.
Eggplant Growth During Cold Weather
Eggplants are large, vigorous plants that could thrive for years if shielded from the extremes. They do, however, require assistance from now and then, mainly as they grow older, to attain their maximum fruiting capacity.
Eggplant is a plant sensitive to colder climates and benefits from a long hot season. The cultivation of eggplant is identical to bell pepper, including transplants being planted in the field after all risk of cold has passed.
Eggplant crops are significantly bigger than pepper crops and are placed somewhat far apart. A decent yield of eggplant needs meticulous attention.
Containers may be utilized to cultivate small-fruited, unique, and decorative kinds. Because they are hot-season veggies, they slow down significantly when the temperature drops.
While eggplants can continue to expand and blossom, they are far more fruitful if pruned back and set to sprout in the summer months. In August, trim seedlings to 6 to 8 inches, prune at a crotch, fertilize, and let them regrow.
Before transplantation, wait till the temperature has stabilized, all risk of cold has gone, and the soil temperature is now in the 60s F, which might be two or three weeks after the typical last frost time. Cool temperatures can weaken crops.
From seed development through harvest, eggplants require continuous warmth.
At a land setting of 85 degrees, its seeds sprout in six days; at 70 °, it requires 12 days.
Start seeds inside 8–10 weeks before putting them outdoors if you’re growing your seedlings. So when the temperature range hits 70 degrees, place your plants in the yard.
An initial summer cold spell with degrees in the sixties may limit an eggplant and diminish its yield for the remainder of the season.
Grow eggplants from transplantation only after the threat of Frost has gone and the ground has warmed sufficiently. Temperatures during the day should range between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Any slight frost might seriously harm the transplants; therefore, be sure that the entire frost days have passed. Winter temperatures dramatically limit development, so preserve your seedlings inside until the environment heats up.
Recall using large containers once the seedlings are inside to prevent them from outgrowing their little pots or being planted outside too soon.
Also Read: How Often to Water Eggplant?
Will Eggplant Survive the Winter?
Eggplants (Solanummelongena) thrive naturally in Southern Asia as a perennial crop; however, many North American planters consider these warm-season veggies as annual crops. Because of their tropical & subtropical origins, eggplants, including fresh tomatoes, demand higher heat.
They develop the quickest when the climate is around 70° to 85°F (21° & 30°C) and the slowest when it is colder.
Because eggplants are tropical crops, they favor warmer conditions and are not used to the extreme cold that is assured in regions of the world when winter occurs.
If you reside in a region that has freezing temperatures, high winds, and heavy rain throughout the wintertime, you must cover your veggies, or they may die.
In summary, your eggplants may withstand winter conditions, but not by themselves. Eggplants are perennial crops, which implies they bloom year after year.
Also Read: Why Are My Eggplant Flowers Falling Off?
How to Protect Eggplant in Winter?
The first step in protecting warm-season plants from frost damage is to avoid overly early sowing.
This implies that you must not put these plants outdoors till after the typical last frost date for your climate zone unless you have checked the prolonged weather prediction and concluded that you are safe.
If you are beginning these crops from seed, attempt to match the planting to your last cold period such that the sprouts are the correct size when it comes time to transplant them in the yard—sow eggplant around eight weeks before the latest frost date.
A hovering row covering is the simplest way to protect crops from a hard frost. These are typically polypropylene material that allows air to pass through while protecting the plants beneath from frost damage.
Floating row wraps are inexpensive and easy to find from a greenhouse or online gardening or seed supplier. A large roll of this material is a terrific complement to every garden shed.
Take Pots Indoors
Eggplants flourish in pots. Therefore, you may have opted to grow your vegetables in containers as well. When pruned, they may develop a foot long, so the eggplants should require a wide pot to accommodate their roots.
Using a container is a smart alternative for people who live in colder climates. You may take your pot indoors throughout the cold. This protects your aubergine from freezing temperatures and heavy winds.
Although your eggplants’ development has slowed over the winter, plants still require sunshine. Because they are tropical species, they want to be in full sun.
When deciding where to grow your vegetables, make sure they are in a covered region of your yard that gets plenty of sunshine throughout the year.
Trim the Eggplant
Pruning your eggplant is necessary as it develops, and it is also required before winter. Pruning your eggplant during the growing period is essential to fostering side branches’ growth.
This encourages your plant to make more blooms instead of increasing its development. Prune your vegetable before cold hits to minimize excessive Prune your vegetable before hard hits to reduce excessive growth.
Check this: How to Pollinate Eggplants?
Eggplant temperature tolerance
Eggplant is a heat-loving vegetable that thrives in temperatures ranging from 70 to 85 ℉. Cooler temperatures prevent pollination & fruit development; around 50°F, the blooms fall.
Plant highly fragile crops only when the minimum temperatures don’t dip under 50°F/10°C—55 to 60 degrees is much preferable.
Employ row coverings, plastic tents, cloches, and even buckets or cartons at night, to shelter these crops from Frost during their vital early weeks of growth if you saw earlier.
Temperatures of 24°C (75°F) or above are optimal for rapid sprouting. However, 21°C (70°F) may suffice. Maintain a damp but not soggy environment for the compost.
Here are a few planting tips that can be useful for you while you are managing to grow eggplant in your garden –
Plant seeds at a later stage
There is no rush to sow eggplant seedlings since the plants develop best in warm weather. Eggplant seedlings grow swiftly because of their broad leaves, outgrowing tomatoes, and peppers.
In July, you may sow seeds for an autumn yield if you have a lengthy, warm planting condition and adopt a split-season gardening strategy. Plant the seedlings in a period of overcast weather.
Also Read: Eggplant Leaves Turning Yellow & Curling
Feed at the appropriate times
They profit from additional nutrition when the crops blossom and produce their initial fruits six weeks after sowing. Side-dress the seedlings with organic fertilizer or composts, or soak them well with liquid plant-based foods.
Fertilize once more in late summer, once the plants are loaded with fruits. Container-grown aubergine requires almost continual feeding, while severe salt accumulation might lead the plants to cease developing.
Choose the ideal area for eggplant cultivation
Eggplant grows best in a sunny spot with well-draining ground high in organic content. To assist stop and avoid soil-borne bugs and infections, alternate where you put eggplant and other nightshade family species (like potatoes and tomatoes).
Grow the nightshade family minimum of two years apart. If you’ve had problems with pests or illness in the past, consider growing eggplant in pots alternatively. When planted in huge pots, eggplant thrives.
Sow eggplant at the appropriate time
Because eggplant enjoys warmer temperatures, don’t grow it until the weather has heated up in the spring.
Sow eggplant plants in the yard whenever the temperature range is at least 70°F (the soil thermometer is the easiest way to monitor the temperature), with daytime highs at or above 70°F and night values above 50°F.
Harvest eggplant only at the proper moment
Smaller fruits get the most potent flavor, and regular harvesting fosters increased production. The stems of eggplant are fragile. Trim the fruit with a portion of the branch still intact to harvest.
Although if you are careful, the cold will arrive unexpectedly in specific years. You can rescue your vegetables from freezing if you are ready to respond when necessary.
There are few gardeners who grow eggplant as annual plant. But, eggplant can survive in winter if you can time to shift them indoors when temperatures drops. However, you shouldn’t expect growth in this season.
Did you ever grow eggplant throughout the year?