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SUSVEG-Asia Brinjal Manual (TNAU)

Healthy brinjal


(Solanum melongena L.)

Family: Solanaceae

Eggplant, Solanum melongena L., is a popular vegetable crop grown throughout the subtropics and tropics and more commonly known as aubergine in Europe and brinjal in India.  The name "eggplant" derives from the shape of the fruit produced by some varieties, which are white in colour and shaped like chicken eggs.  Brinjal is a highly productive crop and affordable to rich and poor alike.  Brinjal can be grown successfully under a wide range the climatic conditions prevailing in South India and the Deccan Plateau and even in hilly regions provided the temperature does not drop below 5 o C.

The plant can be kept in a productive stage for more than one year by pruning but is more typically grown for periods of up to six months.  The fruits occur in a wide range of shapes, sizes and colour, from pure white to dark purple or black.  These characters have made brinjal a very popular vegetable in South Asian countries with people selecting particular traits depending on local preferences and method of cooking the fruits.  Brinjal is rich in Vitamins A and B and so apart from adding variety to the diet it is also good for your health.



CO1, CO 2, MDU-1, PKM 1, PLR 1, KKM 1, Annamalai, PPI(B) 1
Hybrid - COBH 1

H CO 1
It is a pureline selection with crop duration of 160 days. The plants are
erect, compact and bushy with a green stem and leaves and greenish purple
petioles. Fruits are oblong and medium sized with pale green shade under a white
background. Each fruit weighs on an average 50 - 60 g. The fruits are soft seeded
even at full maturity and have good storage qualities.  The variety has a yield potential of 20 to 25 t/ha and is preferred in the markets of southern districts of Tamil
Nadu (Tirunelveli, Ramanathapuram etc.)

H CO 2
This variety was developed from the local variety ‘Varikatthari’ of Negamum,
Coimbatore district through pureline selection.  The plants are compact, erect,
and medium in height and spread. The fruits are slightly oblong with smooth
calyx and dark purple stripes of different lengths and widths under a pale green
background on the upper surface. The fruit storage quality is very good and is
highly sort after in Coimbatore and Periyar districts of Tamil Nadu.   The variety yields about 35 to 38 t/ha with a crop duration of 150 days.

The variety is a selection produced in Kallampati, near Madurai.  The variety is adaptable to the tropical plains of Tamil Nadu. The plants are vigorous, compact and medium spreading. Fruits are round, bright purple in colour, large in size with each weighing about 280 g and a pulp to seed ratio of 9 to 8.  The purple colour fades to pale pink as the fruit matures. It has a yield potential of 30 - 34 t/ha in 135 – 145 days crop duration. The fruits contain 0.29% acidity, protein content of 1.5%, total carbohydrate content of 4.3% and 14 mg/100g of ascorbic acid. This variety is preferred in Madurai and Trichy districts of Tamil Nadu.

It is an induced mutant from a local type known as ‘Puzhuthi kathiri’.  The variety is drought tolerant and adapted to rainfed cultivation in Madurai and Dindugal districts.  The fruits are small and slightly oblong, ovate with green stripes and weight between 50 and 55g.  The fruit can withstand long distance transport and stores well at normal room temperature.  The fruits contain protein *%, carbohydrate * %, acidity 0.29% and 14 mg/100g ascorbic acid.  Yields are typically 35 t/ha with a duration of 150 to 155 days.

This variety is a reselection from Nagpur ecotype.  The variety can be grown in all seasons.  The fruits are small to medium in size, sometimes borne in clusters, egg shaped with bright glossy dark purple colour.  The fruit fetches a higher price than Annamalai variety in the markets of Cuddalore, Chenglepet and Chennai and has an extended shelf life of 8 to 10 days under ambient temperatures.  The fruit have a high ascorbic acid content of 12 mg/100 g and yields on average 15 to 25 t/ha.

H KKM 1(Killikulam 1)
This variety is a pureline selection from Kulathur local in Tirunelveli. It is suitable for cultivation both under rainfed and irrigated conditions in Tirunelveli district. The plants are compact with small to medium sized, milky white coloured, egg shaped fruits in clusters of 2 to 4 with a green calyx.  Yields are typically 36 to 37 t/ha over a 130 to 135 day cropping season. This variety has the best preference in Southern districts of Tamil Nadu.

H Annamalai
The fruits are oblong, deep purple in colour with a characteristic yellowish mark along the calyx border and a few thorns on the surface of the calyx. The fruits are preferred in the Cuddalore, Villupuram, Vellore, Thiruvannamalai and Chengalpattu district and Chennai markets.  Yields are typically 20 to 22 t/ha.

The variety is a single line selection from Karungal local type, Vazhuthunangai.  The plant is medium spreading with lengthy pale green fruits, low in seed and not bitter in taste.  The variety is medium tolerant to brinjal shoot and fruit borer and wilt disease. Typical yields of 50 t/ha are produced in a fruiting period of 185 days.  The variety is suitable for cultivation during April-May, and Oct-Nov as a rain-fed or irrigated crop in Kanyakumari district.

H COBH 1 Brinjal
This variety is an F1 hybrid released from Horticultural College and Research Institute, Coimbatore.  The fruits are medium sized, oblong shaped and dark violet in colour.  Each fruit weighs between 60 and 65g.  Yields of up to 56 t/ha can be obtained in a crop duration of120-130 days after transplanting.  April to December is the ideal season for cultivation of this variety and it is grown as an crop irrigated in Coimbatore, Erode, Salem, Namakkal, Trichy, Karur, Dharmapuri and Tiruvannamalai districts.  Fruits possess high ascorbic acid content (16.65 mg/100g).


Soil and climate
Brinjal is a warm-weather crop that grows best under temperatures of between 21 to 29°C but can tolerate drought and excessive rainfall. The crop has a long growing season of about 120 days and can be harvested at least once a week providing farmers with a steady income. Ideally brinjal should be cultivation in well-drained sandy loam to loam soils with a high organic content and a pH of 5.5 to 6.0. It is better to avoid fields that were previously planted with solanaceous crops such as potato, tomato and pepper. Rotating brinjal with rice is ideal to reduce the likelihood of nematodes and bacterial wilt accumulating in the soil.

Season of sowing and planting
December to January and May to June.

Seed rate
400 g per ha raised in a nursery area of 100 sq. m.  Treat the seeds with Trichoderma viride @ 4 g/kg of seed or Captan or Thiram 2 g/kg of seed to protect seeds from pathogens.  Treat seeds with Azospirillum @ 40 g/400 g of seeds, using rice gruel as an adhesive for better germination and growth.  In raised nursery beds sow the seeds in lines 10 cm apart and cover with sand.  The nursery should be irrigated with rose can to prevent damage to young seedlings.  

Field preparation
Plough the field to a fine tilth. Apply Farm Yard Manure (FYM) or compost at the rate of 25 t/ha before the last ploughing and form ridges and furrows 60 cm apart.  Pre-emergence application of the herbicide Pendimethalin 1250ml/ha is recommended.

The ideal transplant is a seedling with 3 to 4 leaves, stocky and disease-free and without flower buds.  Transplant seedlings 30 to 35 days after sowing in ridges 60 cm apart. Transplanting should be done in the late afternoon or on a cloudy day in order to minimize the shock of transplanting.

After the establishment of the seedlings, irrigate the field at weekly intervals. Irrigation is essential whenever little or no rain occurs during the growing season. Irrigation is most critical during the time of flowering and fruit set.  Lack of water during this period could lead to the development of blossom-end rot and malformed fruit. A reduction of fruit size and yield are also caused by moisture stress.

Fertilizers / Manure Basal dose Top dressing
FYM 25 t/ha
Urea 110 kg/ha, applied 30 days after transplanting during earthing-up. 
Super 310 kg/ha, MOP 50 kg/ha
Apply 2 kg each of Azospirillum and Phosphobacterium in the main field at planting.
Spray 2 ppm (1 ml in 500 l) Triacontanol plus Sodium Borate or Borax 35 mg/l of water 15 days after transplanting and at the time of full bloom to increase the yield.

Plant protection
1. Brinjal shoot and fruit borer- Leucinodes orbonalis
Symptoms Î
The larvae bore inside the terminal shoots, resulting in the shoots withering
Bore holes on fruits are plugged with excreta rendering it unmarketable
Shedding of flower buds

Non pesticide-based control
Collection and destruction of affected terminal shoots and fruits showing bore holes
Setting up of pheromone traps at 100/ha for mass trapping adult insects.
Natural enemies are encouraged when pesticides are not used.

Pesticide-based control
Apply carbaryl 50 WP 2g/l or endosulfan 35 EC 2ml/l or quinalphos 25 EC 2ml/l
when the fruit damage exceeds 10%.

2. Spotted beetle -Epilachna vigintioctopunctata
Symptoms Î
Both grubs and adults scrap chlorophyll from the epidermal layers of leaves that become skeletonized and gradually dry out.

Non pesticide-based control
Collection and destruction of grubs and adults

Pesticide-based control
Spray carbaryl 50 WP 3g/l or endosulfan, 35 EC 2ml/l
or malathion 50EC 2ml/l.

3. Whitefly -Bemisia tabaci
Symptoms Î
Nymphs and adults feeds on cell sap from leaves causing chlorotic spots that result in yellowing and drying of leaves

Non pesticide-based control
Spray neem oil at 30 ml/lit + Teepol 1 ml/lit or neem seed kernel extract 50g/l of water.  Set up yellow sticky traps @ 12/ha to monitor the activity of the adults.

4. Brown leafhopper - Cestius phycitis
Vector of little leaf disease.
Flowers become phylloid.  Axillary buds grow out into axillary shoots that in turn produce secondary and tertiary branches.

Non pesticide-based control
Eradicate solanaceous weed hosts in and around the field.  Remove and bury or burn affected plants in the early stages of disease development. 

Pesticide-based control
Spray malathion 1ml/lit or methyl demeton 2 ml/lit or dimethoate 2 ml/lit to control the insect vector.
Spray tetracycline @10-50ppm to prolong the incubation period and reduce the extent of sprouting of axillary buds.

5. Damping off – Pythium sp
Death of young seedlings.
Complete rotting of radicle and plumule.  Toppling of infected seedlings Infected tissues appear soft and water soaked.

Non Pesticide-based control
Treat the seeds with Trichoderma viride 4g or Pseudomonas fluorescens 10g or captan 2g/kg of seed 24 hours prior to sowing.
Apply Pseudomonas fluorescens as a soil application @ 2.5 kg/ha mixed with 50 kg of FYM.
Prepare raised nursery beds and avoid stagnation of water.
Adopt recommended seed rate.

Pesticide-based control
Drench the nursery with copper oxychloride 2.5 g/lit at 4 lit/sq.m.
Treat the seeds with captan 2g/kg of seed 24 hours before sowing.

6. Leaf spot - Cercospora solani
Symptoms Î
Concentric rings on the leaves and fruits
Mosaic mottling on the leaves
Deformation of leaves

Spray mancozeb on the plants at 2g/lit

The first harvest starts from 55 - 60 days after transplanting. The fruits should be harvested at right maturity depending upon the variety and market preference.

For further information on cultivation aspects, the book on “ Sustainable
way of vegetable production” by T. Veeraragavathatham, M . Jawaharlal
and Seemanthini Ramdass, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University,
Coimbatore (Price Rs. 75/- ).



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