Eggplant is a thermophilic plant of the nightshade family and like most plants of this type (paprika, tomato) grows best under cover. Aubergine fruit has a purple – black peel, with oblong cylindrical shape and a unique taste as well as health benefits. In addition to its taste and thanks to its mineral salts, potassium, calcium, iron and phosphorus. Eggplant strengthens heart condition and cleanses the body. Their cultivation in a foil tunnel requires systematic care and attention. And how to start and run a production? This will be our focus in this guide.
Eggplant under cover
The sun loving nature of eggplants makes it the most widely cultivated in foil tunnels and greenhouses, and it requires temperatures of 22 to 28 degrees Celsius. At less than 15 degrees, development of the plant is halted and the eggplant even dies below zero. Horticultural tunnels create a favorable microclimate in which they retain heat inside the enclosure. Protect crops against frost and sudden temperature drops.
Positioning aubergines for under cover cultivation
Eggplants are planted in warm, sunny exposed areas. A fertile soil, rich in humus and nutrients will contribute to a successful harvest. It is worth knowing the soil content in order to enrich it with the necessary elements and obtain a fully optimal growing process. The best pH for substrate will be in the range of 6.3 to 6.9. It is important not to plant them where other plants were growing previously or in their immediate vicinity.
Caring for aubergine in the garden tunnel
The plant is sown from mid-January to the end of March, the production itself lasts up to 10 weeks. Plants with 5-8 leaves are placed in the polytunnel, but before the introduction of the seedlings. It is advisable to harden them. Depending on cultivation method, a spacing of 30-80 x 30-80 cm is recommended.
Due to heavy weight of its fruit, the plant often tilts and breaks. This can be prevented by tying it to stakes: when it starts to spread on the ground, we tie stems with a string or line.
Harvest of eggplants in foil tunnel
Harvest begins at full maturity, with a 3 cm peduncle. Aubergines should have a shiny purple peel with a white flesh and fully formed seeds inside. Such fruits have a unique taste and offer a precious culinary resource.