How to Grow Eggplant

Eggplant

Learn How to Grow Eggplant in Your Garden

Whether you want to learn how to grow eggplant in pots on your deck, or in your garden, you’ve come to the right place. They are easy to grow. 

The plants and fruit are easy to grow. It is one of the more prolific producers in the vegetable world. On top of that, it is great in recipes. Eggplant Parmesan is one of the better-known of all Italian recipes. In addition, it 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, too. A web search will result in eggplant recipes from all corners of the globe.

If you are space constrained, you can grow eggplant in pots on your patio or deck. See below for how to grow eggplant in pots.

Varieties of Eggplant

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

  • Also, they can be slender and straight.

  • Other less common varieties can be white, scarlet (reddish), and yellow or golden.

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

How to Grow Eggplant - Planting Seeds

Grow eggplant in full sun. The plants like hot weather.  Plant after the last day of frost for your region. In addition, plants often are started indoors six to eight weeks before the last frost date and transplanted as the weather warms in the spring. The second setting in mid-summer is often started outdoors.

For outdoors planting, select a sunny location. 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.

How to Grow Eggplant - Season Long Care

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.

Also, See:

Plant Problems

Soil Temperatures – Ideal germination temperature by vegetable

Ideal Soil pH – by vegetable

How to Grow Eggplant in Pots

Eggplants take up very little space. You can grow them in containers or pots on your patio or deck. Here’s how to grow eggplant in pots:

Use a container or pot that is at least 12″ in diameter.

Place the container or pot in the sunniest part of your patio or deck.

Fill the container in rich soil. Plant seeds or one seedling in the pot. If you are growing from seed, thin to one plant per pot. 

Because they are growing in a small space, they will need frequent watering, perhaps daily in hot, dry weather.

The plants will also need frequent application of fertilizer, as they can readily deplete the nutrients in the container. 

Insects and Pests

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

Plant Disease

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

Also see: Plant Problems

How to Grow Eggplant - Harvest Time

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

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.

Plant Hardiness

Eggplant is a hot weather crop. And, 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 hot caps for cool nights to help the young seedlings get off to a good, healthy start. Also, if your crop is still producing in the fall, cover them on cold evenings to extend the harvest.

Eggplant Recipes

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