|Phomopsis blight attacks the stems of eggplant, |
causing plants to wilt.The disease can also penetrate into fruit, creating a soft rot.
To control Phomopsis, select resistant varieties, sow pathogen-free seeds,
rotate crops, and spray with fungicides. Mulching and furrow irrigation will reduce infection caused by water and soil splashing.
|Eggplant suffers from several soil-borne diseases including Damping off, |
Bacterial wilt, and Verticillium wilt. Damping off fungi (Pythium, Phytophtora
and Rhizoctonia) attack germinating seeds, creating lesions on the stems and
later the collapse of seedlings. Soil sterilization and seed treatment are
recommended control practices.
|Bacterial wilt is very destructive, especially in the hot, wet season. |
Plants wilt and die suddenly. When newly infected stems are cut crosswise
and placed in water, an ooze appears. Sow resistant varieties, rotate with non-Solanaceous crops, use raised beds for improved drainage, and graft
plants onto resistant rootstocks.
|Verticillium wilt causes stunting and wilting of plants. Leaves turn yellow|
along the margins, later turning brown and wilting. A lengthwise cut of the
infected stem shows dark-brown discoloration in the vascular tissue.
Soil sterilization and crop rotation with non-Solanaceous crops are
recommended. Grafting eggplants on suitable rootstocks also minimizes
the disease infestation. Use resistant varieties.
Other diseases on eggplant include Southern blight,
Alternaria and Cercospora leaf spot, and several viruses.
Harvesting is done by hand using a sharp knife or clippers, leaving the calyx attached to the fruit. Harvest once or twice a week.
Yields are commonly in the range of 30 to 40 tons/ha. Six to twelve marketable fruits may be expected per plant for the large-fruited varieties, weighing 300-400 gm each. The elongated varieties may produce twice as many fruits, with individual fruits weighing 100-150 gm each.
Eggplant does not have a long storage life and should be marketed immediately after harvest. Fruits are generally sorted by size and color, and packed into either baskets or cartons. They are handled and packed carefully to avoid damaging the skin.
Eggplant can be stored safely for 7-10 days at 7-10°C and 90-95% relative humidity. It is subject to chilling injury when stored at temperatures below 7° C. Symptoms of chilling injury are pitting, surface bronzing, and browning of seeds and pulp.