SHABBAT SHALOM! Well, we are all blessed…
Did you know that you can grow your own eggplant in your house. After your Sabbath rest, we encourage our students and readers to start your own eggplant next week, and let us know on this post from week to week how it is going. Here is what to do:
Some Basics On Starting Seed Indoors
It’s very easy to grow your own transplants, and growing your own gives you the freedom to pick your own varieties. To grow your own transplants, all you need is:
1. Sterilized soil or potting mix;
2. Suitable containers such as peat pots or milk cartons cut in half, or anything that will hold soil and provide good drainage;
3. A place to put the seeds while they’re germinating that provides a warm, even temperature – bottom heat is especially important;
4. Plenty of sunshine or grow lights;
For good germination, make sure the container has holes for drainage. If excess water can’t drain, your seeds will rot. All your efforts can be ruined by damping off, a fungus disease that attacks the emerging seedlings, if you don’t take steps to prevent it. The best preventive measures are to make sure your potting soil mix is sterile and don’t overwater. Purchased soil and potting mixes usually are sterile.
To start growing your transplants, fill the container with moistened, not wet, potting mix or soil. If you’re using peat pots or Jiffy 7’s, plant a few seeds in each. In flats, sprinkle the seed about 1/4 to 1/2 inch apart. Then firm them into the soil with a flat, rigid object. such as a small wooden shingle or a kitchen spatula. Sprinkle some more of the potting mix over the seeds, covering them only to a depth of three to four times their own diameter. For eggplant seeds, about 1/4 inch of the moistened soil or mix is about right.
Cover the flat or container with plastic wrap or put it in a plastic bag to help retain moisture. Then place the bundle in a spot that’s consistently warm but not hot, such as the top of the fridge. Cover the packages with a few sheets of newspaper to help insulate them.
A sunny window is the worst place to put seeds that are trying to germinate. It’s hot during the day and usually cold at night. These temperature extremes don’t help the seeds to germinate. The top of your refrigerator is a great location because the temperature is constant, warming the soil around your seeds. It has the added benefit of getting flats or containers out of your way. Eggplant, don’t need sunlight to sprout, just warmth and a bit of moisture.
Hey, let’s have eggplant parm tonight for Shabbat. Plant your seeds, and let us know how it goes. Shabbat Shalom!