• We grow various types of plants in our gardens. These plants will be flowering plants like the chrysanthemums, roses, lilies, lotuses, marigolds, jasmines, bougainvilleas, orchids etc., or these can be just the decorative and ornamental plants with beautiful leaves like the crotons, palms, bamboos, asparaguses, foliage plants, bonsai plants etc. It would be very useful if add some vegetable plants too in our garden. The garden can be landscaped properly according to the nature and type of plants we want to grow in the garden. The landscaping has to be done in way the garden gives a beautiful and attractive look to a visitor to your garden. On the very entry to your garden, the visitor should exclaim, "What a beautifully laid garden" or like praises which should make your heart throb with joy.
How to grow brinjals in your beautiful garden?
• Brinjals which is a common vegetable in India is also known by the name "egg plant" in many western countries of Europe and America. This vegetable is very easy and safe to grow in our vegetable garden whether we have a garden in front of house, a terrace garden or a roof garden. But I grow brinjals in my terrace garden as can be seen in the photo above. First of all, we must think of the season in which brinjal should be planted. Brinjal needs a warm climate when both the day and night temperature are sufficiently warm. Plants cannot bear very low temperature and frost is dangerous to the growth of the brinjal plants. A mean temperature between 150 and 220 of daily average is good for the growth of the brinjal plants. The climatic conditions prevailing in South India are very suitable for its growth.
• The second step is to prepare the soil to sow the brinjal plants. A sandy and loamy soil which should be made fertile by the application of organic manure will be suitable for its growth. The soil should be well drained. The water should not stand in the roots of the plants for a long time. The baby plants to grow can be bought either from the vegetable plants nursery or we can grow the healthy seeds bought from a seed store and grow the same in a pot. Once these grow to a well-developed baby plant, they should be planted in rows leaving a distance of about 12 – 18 inches between each plant. The planted bed should be slightly irrigated and to let the soil hold the roots of the baby plants firmly. Then the plants should be regularly watered. The frequency of watering should be increased or decreased depending on whether you have planted the plants in the garden on the ground or in the terrace or the roof of your house. The frequency of watering will be more if the plants are grown in pots.
• Care should be taken not to plant the brinjals in a shady portion of the garden. The plants ought to have sufficient sunlight. From time to time, any weeds which might grow in the plants bed must be removed. The plants should be sprayed with the pesticides or insecticides if any disease is noticed. After about two months, you will start getting lovely brinjals for your kitchen to make wonderful brinjal recipes.
Use and properties of brinjal
• The purple coloured fruit of the plant can be eaten cooked in several ways like baking, boiling, frying and adding it to curries made with potatoes and certain other vegetables and even the curries made from mutton. Some large varieties of brinjals are first roasted, the skin removed and then fried with a little oil and other spicy ingredients to make 'bharatha', a tasty Punjabi dish. The plant is supposed to have originated in India but is now also grown widely in Bangladesh, Pakistan, China, Japan, Philippines and some Arabian countries. It is not a major crop outside Asia.
• Brinjals are a rich source of Vitamin A and B. Some studies have revealed that it is good in controlling blood cholesterol. It is supposed to contain folic acid and potassium. Brinjal is believed to contain nicotine more than any other vegetable plant. But it is not so harmful because the amount of nicotine is very negligible. Nicotine in brinjal plant is even very much lesser than a person can get through passive smoking.