Brinjal is one of the most common tropical vegetables grown in India. It is known by different names like Begun (Bengali), ringna (Gujarathi), baingan ( Hindi), badane (Kannada), waangum (Kashmiri), vange ( Marathi), baigan (Oriya), Vashuthana ( Malayalam), Kathiri (Tamil), venkaya (Telugu) and Peethabhala (Sanskrit). A large number of cultivars differing in size, shape and colour of fruits are grown in India. Immature fruits are used in curries and a variety of dishes are prepared out of brinjal. Fruits are moderate sources of vitamins and minerals like phosphorous, calcium and iron and nutritive value varies from variety to variety.
Brinjal is a warm season crop and requires a long warm growing season. It is very susceptible to frost. A daily mean temperature of 13-21 oC is most favourable for its successful production. The growth of the crop is severely affected when temperature falls below 17 oC. It can be successfully grown as a rainy season and summer season crop and can be grown at an elevation of 1200m above the sea level.
It can be grown in plains throughout the year but rabi season is the best.
Brinjal is a hardy crop and is cultivated under a wide range of soils. Since a long duration crop with high yield, well -drained and fertile soil is preferred for the crop. Crops grown in sandy soils yield early and those grown in clayey soils yield more. Ideal pH for cultivation of crop is 5.5 - 6.6.
On an average 370 - 500 g seed is required for raising required seedlings for one ha land.
Seed treatment :
Brinjal seeds are sown on nursery beds to raise seedlings for transplanting in the field. Raised beds are necessary to avoid problem of water logging in heavy soils. In sandy soils, however, sowing can be taken up in flat beds. Raised beds of size 7.2 x 1.2 m and 10-15 cm in height are prepared. Thus, ten such beds are sufficient to raise seedlings for planting one hectare area. About 70cm distance is kept between two beds to carry out operations of watering, weeding, etc. The surface of beds should be smooth and well levelled. Well-decomposed FYM or leaf mould may be mixed with the soil at the time of bed preparation. To avoid mortality of seedlings due to damping off, drenching of the beds with Bavistin (15-20 g/10 litres of water) is effective.
Sowing should be done thinly in lines spaced at 5-7 cm distance. Seeds are sown at a depth of 2-3 cm and covered with a fine layer of soil followed by light watering by water can. The beds should then be covered with dry straw or grass or sugarcane leaves to maintain required temperature and moisture. The watering should be done by water can as per the need till germination is completed. The cover of dry straw or grass is removed immediately after germination is complete. During the last week in nursery, the seedlings may be hardened by slightly withholding water. The seedlings are ready for transplanting within 4-6 weeks of planting when they attain a height of 15 cm with 2-3 true leaves.
The field is ploughed to fine tilth by giving four to five ploughing with a sufficient interval between two ploughing. Planking should be done for proper levelling. The field is then divided into beds and channels. Well-decomposed FYM is thoroughly incorporated at the time of land preparation.
Spacing depends upon the type of variety grown and the season of planting. Normally the long fruited varieties are transplanted at 60 x 45 cm, the round varieties at 75 x 60 cm and high yielding varieties at 90 x 90 cm spacing. Seedlings are transplanted in furrows in light soils and on side of the ridges in case of heavy soils. A pre-soaking irrigation is given 3-4 days prior to transplanting. At the time of transplanting, the roots of the seedlings should be dipped in a solution of Bavistin (2g/litre of water). Transplanting should preferably be done in the evening.
The fertilizer dose depends upon the fertility of soil and amount of organic manure applied to the crop. For a good yield, 15-20 tonnes of well-decomposed FYM is incorporated into the soil.
Generally, application of 150 kg N, 100 kg P2O5 and 50 kg K2O is recommended for optimum yield. Half dose of N 25 2 and full dose of P and K is given at the time of planting. The balance half of N is given in 3 equal split doses. The first split dose is given one and half month after transplanting, the second dose one month after the first application and the final at three and half months after transplanting.
For hybrid varieties, the recommended dose is 200 kg N, 100 kg P2O5 and 100 Kg K2O. Out of this dose, 25 2 25 % of N and 100 % of P & K is applied as basal dose. Remaining 75 % of P is applied in three equal split doses. The first split dose of N is applies 20 days after transplanting. The second dose is given just before the onset of flowering while the third after the first picking/harvesting.
Continuous supply of moisture should be maintained around the root zone of the plant. A light irrigation is given on the first and third day after transplanting. Thereafter irrigation is given at an interval of 8-10 days during winter and 5-6 days during summer.
The field should be kept weed-free, especially in the initial stage of plant growth, as weeds compete with the crop and reduce the yield drastically. Frequent shallow cultivation should be done at regular interval so as to keep the field free from weeds and to facilitate soil aeration and proper root development. Deep cultivation is injurious because of the damage of roots and exposure of moist soil to the surface. Two-three hoeing and the earthing up are required to keep the crop free of weeds. Pre- emergence application of Fluchloralin (1.5 kg a.i./ha) coupled with one hand weeding 30 days after transplanting is effective for control of weeds.
Pests : Pests Fruit and shoot borer, jassids, Epilachna beetle and mites are the major pests.
Diseases : Diseases Bacterial wilt Fusarian wilt, Phomopsis blight, little leaf, mosaic and damping off are the major diseases.
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The fruits become ready for first picking in about 120-130 days of seed sowing depending on the variety. The harvesting of the fruits should be done as soon as it attains a good size and colour. Fruits are harvested when they become greenish yellow or bronze and their flesh turns dry and tough. Pressing the thumb against the side of the fruit can indicate the maturity of the fruit. If the pressed portion springs back to its original shape, the fruit is too immature. Some portion of the calyx and the stem-end is retained on the fruit during harvesting. Since all the fruits do not mature at the same time, the fruits are harvested at an interval of 8-10 days.
Depending on variety and season the average yield of brinjal varies from 20-30 t/ha.
Source : NHB
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