Eggplant is in the same family as tomatoes or peppers and need the same kind of care. There are purple and white varieties. They need lots of heat and rich soil to grow their best. I get best results starting them indoors at the same time as my tomato plants. This is not a common plant home gardeners grow, however if you enjoy eating and cooking with this vegetable it is a wonderful addition to the garden.
Botanical Family - Solanaceae/Nightshade Family
Location - Well drained, sunny, warm location.
Soil - Good, rich, slightly on the acidic side.
Soil Preparation - This vegetable needs a lot of nutrients to grow well. Dig in lots of compost or manure before planting.
- Seed Spacing - 12 inches apart
- Germinate in soil temperature of 24 - 32 C
- Days to Maturity - 70-80 days
Planting times - Sow indoor April 1-15; transplant mid to late June.
Planting Instruction - Add handful of compost to hole when transplanting. Needs lots of warmth; use clear plastic cloche or greenhouse. Cool temperatures will encourage leafy growth but no fruit.
- Positive affect: pea, thyme, tarragon
- Negative affect: none
Watering - Require lots of water.
Weeding - Keep weeded when plants are small.
Disease & Insects - flea beetles, lacebug, aphids, Colorado potato beetle, red spider. Use rotation. I grow mine in a greenhouse and they have been bug free.
Harvest - Fruit should be gathered when the surface is very glossy, and before it begins to assume a dull finish. Cut fruit with a knife leaving a 1/2 inch of stem, do not pull or twist.
Storage - Store in a plastic bag in the warmer section of the refrigerator to protect against excess cold temperatures that can cause the development of pitted mushy spots. They will keep up to 5 days this way.
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