The Q&A Archives: Watering Eggplant

Question: My eggplants are beginning to flower and I was wondering how much water they require at this point. This is my first shot with growing eggplant, and I would like to be able to at least get a few of the fruits to produce. My fear is overwatering or underwatering. Any help would be appreciated.

Answer: The goal is to keep the soil evenly moist -- not so wet that it's muddy or puddles stand on top, and not so dry that the soil become dusty. The key to this is getting to know your soil, and how water behaves there. Dig your hand into the soil and see how water penetrates. Sandy soils drain downward quickly, and lose moisture easily through evaporation. In clay soils, water penetrates slowly and spreads broadly across the surface, and the soil holds onto water tightly. A loam soil is somewhere in the middle, allowing moisture to flow into the root zone (top 6-10").
Water your soil so that the root zone remains slightly moist. If it's too wet, roots won't function well (they need air, too), and will be prone to rot. You can keep soil moist for longer by applying mulch of straw, hay, grass clippings, etc. to the soil around the plants. I hope this helps, and that your eggplants bear well!

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