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How to Grow Eggplant

Not only is eggplant easy to grow, it is one of the more prolific producers of the vegetable world. On top of that, it is great in recipes. Eggplant Parmesan is one of the better known of all Italian recipes. Eggplant is a very popular European vegetable, especially in the Mediterranean region.

Eggplant is easy to grow. It is grown and enjoyed all over the world. There are website links and information in many places among them India, Egypt, China, Japan, Indonesia, Italy, France and dozens more countries. A web search will result in eggplant recipes from all corners of the globe.


Varieties of Eggplant:

  • The most common are dark purple, sometimes almost black colored Eggplants, which are either globe or round shaped.

  • They also can be slender and straight.

  • Other less common varieties can be white, scarlett (reddish) and a yellow or golden in color.

  •  An Ornamental Eggplant is also of great interest. It's edible, and the plant is a unique "conversation piece" in your garden.


Planting Eggplant:


Eggplant likes hot weather. Plant after the last day of frost for your region. Plants often are started indoors six to eight weeks before the last frost date, and transplanted as the weather warms in the spring. A second setting in mid summer, is often started outdoors.

For outdoors planting, select a sunny location. Eggplants like full sun. Sow eggplant seeds very shallow, about 1/4. You can even set the seeds on the soil, and lightly water them in. If you start plants outdoors, you can also sow seeds in a seedbed and transplant seedlings to the desired location. Space  plants 1 1/2 feet apart. Space rows 2 to 2 1/2 feet apart.


Growing Eggplant - Care and Feeding:


Grow Eggplant in full sun. Before planting, add plenty of compost and manure, as eggplants thrive in rich soil. Keep the soil moist to promote maximum growth.

Ideal soil pH: 6.0 - 7.0   More on soil pH

Apply a general purpose fertilizer in the spring when you till the soil. Add additional applications every three to four weeks.

Mulch around the plants to add nutrients, and for moisture retention. Keep eggplants weed free, so they do not compete for sunlight and nutrients.

Provide frost protection for the plants both spring and fall.


Days to Maturity:

Approximately 55 to 70 days for most varieties, with some little longer.


Insects and Pests:


Aphids, Red Spider mites and whiteflies are common pests. Garden dusts like Sevin are usually effective.


Disease:
Eggplant does not suffer from too many diseases. But cool weather will slow down production.

Also see: Plant Problems


Harvesting:


Begin to harvest eggplants as soon as the first fruit reaches a desirable size. Keep picking them and do not let them get too big. By continuous harvesting, you will encourage more fruit to set all the way to frost.



Hardiness:


Eggplant is a hot weather crop. It is susceptible to cold temperatures and frost. Delay planting in the spring until nighttime temperatures are in the upper forties. If you start the season early, use hotcaps for cool nights to help the young seedlings get off to a good, healthy start. If your crop is still producing in the fall, cover them on cold evenings to extend the harvest.


Eggplant Recipes:

Recipes: May we suggest:


More Information:

More on Growing Eggplant from Garden Hobbies

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