Give It A Healthy Start!
Subspecies: Solanum melongena
Eggplant is used in many cuisines around the world. It can be baked, fried, or steamed and still retain it’s texture and flavor. The flesh of very ripe eggplant can even be used as a tofu substitute. It also blends well for use in dips and sauces.
When growing eggplant keep in mind the plant is vulnerable in cooler temperatures and needs a long growing season in warm temperatures in order to produce abundantly.
Eggplant is slightly high maintenance and needs a lot of care and attention throughout its growing season. It can be grown in the ground, in raised beds or even in containers – if a small variety is chosen. Read on for our full guide on how to grow eggplant in your own garden.
Propagate by seed at 60° – 95° for germination. Emergence of seedlings occurs within 7 – 10 days.
Because eggplant is finicky; transplants are more successful than starting by seed. The plants will not thrive and produce if they are put into the ground too early in the season. Place transplants in the soil after last frost and when the weather is consistently warm.
There should be 18 – 24 inches between plants and 30 – 36 inches between rows.
They do well in ground that has been warmed under landscape cloth early in the season.
Eggplants, like pepper plants and tomatoes should not receive too much plant food or fertilizer. This causes the plants to produce leaves instead of using their energy to produce eggplant.
Eggplant should not be grown in the same spot from year to year, or diseases that stunt growth may take hold in the soil.
Dusky is a variety with 5 – 7 inch long, oval shaped fruit. Epic has tear shaped fruit.
Other successful eggplant varieties for the home gardener are:
Black Bell, Black Beauty, Black Magic, Ichiban and Classic.
Ghostbuster is a white eggplant that tastes slightly sweeter than the traditional aubergine varieties.
Cardboard collars installed around individual plants will prevent most cutworms.
A direct and steady spray of water will displace aphids from the plants. This should be done before the sun is directly overhead so plants will not be scorched.
Diatomaceous earth can be used to control flea beetles.
Eggplant need to be kept in a cool, but not cold place. The refrigerator door or a dark counter work well, and the eggplants will last for as long as 5 days.