Brinjal is one of the most commonly grown vegetable crop in the country. India produces about 10.378 MMT of Brinjal from an area of 0.6 Mha with an average productivity of 17.3 mt/ha. Major producing states are Orissa, Bihar, Karnataka, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra & Uttar Pradesh. West Bengal has 0.1553 MHA under Brinjal, and the total production during 2008-09 is 2.758 MMT with 17.8 mt/ha productivity. Brinjal has ayurvedic medicinal properties, and white brinjal is good for diabetic patients. It is also a source of vitamins A, C, and minerals.
Climate and soil requirement for growing Brinjal
Brinjal requires a long and warm growing season. The plant is sensitive to frost injury. Chilling weather for a long time may also damage the crop. A well-drained and fertile soil is desirable for growing brinjal. It is a hardy plant and can be grown on different kinds of soil but does best on silt loams and clay loams. However to raise an early crop sandy or sandy loam soil is preferred.
Improved Brinjal Varieties/Hybrids
a.) Round Fruited
1. Punjab Neelam (1998)
It is ready for first picking in 65 days after transplanting. Plants are medium in height erect, thornless, and foliage is green with a purple tinge, fruits are oval-round, medium-sized and shining dark purple in colour. It is suitable for transplanting in February and August. Average yield is 140 q/acre.
b.) Oblong Fruited
1. BH-2 (1994)
Leaves of this hybrid are green and purplish. Plants are medium, erect, spreading and thornless. Its fruits are oblong and deep purple. Average weight per fruit is 300 g. It is highly suitable for cooking as ‘Bhartha.’ It is tolerant to fruit borer. Average yield is 235 q/acre.
c.) Long Fruited
1.Punjab Barsati (1987)
This variety takes about 64 days from transplanting to the first harvesting. Its plants are dwarf, erect and thornless. The leaves are medium-long and shining purple. Its average yield is 140 q/acre. It is more tolerant to fruit-borer and is most suitable for transplanting in the rainy season.
2.Punjab Sada Bahar (1987)
This variety takes about 76 days from transplanting to the first harvesting. Its plants are dwarf, erect and thornless. The leaves are green. The fruits are long, thin and deep purple. Its average yield is 125 q/acre. It is good for summer, autumn and also as ratoon crop. It is comparatively tolerant to fruit-borer.
d.) Small Fruited
The plants of this hybrid are medium in height, compact and thornless. Foliage is green with a purple tinge. Flowers are purple and borne in clusters. Fruits are shining purple of small size and oblong shape. It is comparatively tolerant to fruit borer. It is early in fruiting and gives 257 quintals per acre yield.
2.Punjab Nagina (2007)
Its plants are dwarf, semi-erect with dark green and spineless leaves. Its flowers are light violet in colour with green calyx and fruits are shining, purple-black, small, round and borne in clusters. This variety gives first picking in 55 days after transplanting. The average yield is 145 q/acre.
Agronomic Practices for Brinjal Cultivation
To plant an acre, 300 to 400 g of seed is grown in one Marla (25m x 1m) on raised beds.
The sowing time of four successive crops of brinjal is given below:
- The nursery for the first crop is sown in October and seedlings are transplanted in November.
- The nursery for the second crop is sown in November. It gives seedlings for transplanting in the first fortnight of February. The seedlings of this nursery are required to be protected against frost.
- The seed for the third crop is sown in nursery beds in February-March. The seedlings are transplanted before the end of April.
- The seed for the fourth crop is sown in the nursery beds in July and transplanting is done in August.
Low tunnel technology
During winter protection of brinjal plants from low temperature with a low tunnel, technology gives early and high yield. For this nursery should be transplanted in the first fortnight of November on raised beds at the spacing of 90 cm between rows and 30 cm between plants. In the first week of Dec., iron arches are fixed and covered with a transparent non-perforated plastic sheet of 50-micron thickness. When the temperature starts warming up, remove the polythene sheet in the second fortnight of Feb.
Rows are spaced 60 cm apart, and plants are spaced 30-45cm apart in the row.
Manures and Fertilizers for Brinjal
Apply 10 tons of well rotted farmyard manure. Then apply 25 kg of N (55 kg of Urea) 25 kg of P205 (155 kg of Single Superphosphate) and 12 kg of K2O (20 kg of Muriate of Potash) per acre. Apply all the fertilizers at transplanting. After two pickings, again apply 25 kg of N (55 kg of Urea) per acre.
Irrigation of Brinjal
First irrigation should be given immediately after transplanting. During summer irrigate the crop at 4-6 days interval whereas during winter season irrigate at 10-14 days interval depending on soil type. It requires 10-16 irrigations.
Harvesting of Brinjal
Fruits should be harvested when fully developed but tender. Harvest every week in the peak season.
The brinjal variety should be grown at least 200 meters apart from other brinjal varieties. Minimum three field inspections should be made, first at vegetative phase, second at flowering and fruiting and third before harvesting of fruits. Any off type and diseased plants should be removed. For seed production, the ripe fruits which turned yellow are crushed and stored overnight and then the seeds are separated after washing with water is sieved and dried. The washing is usually done in the morning so that the seed is dried during the day. The dried seed is packed and labelled.
- Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana.
- National Commitee on Plasticulture Application in Horticulture.