21 August 2012, by gj
A relative of tomatoes and peppers, eggplant is not as popular to eat.
It is however, quite easy to grow.
Like their relatives, they like warm weather.
Unless you have a really long growing season, you should start your seed indoors about 2 months before you can safely put them outside.
We’ve just started getting our fruit mid-August, about 10 weeks after hardening off and setting out our transplants; which is right on target.
If your season is short, you may want to try a smaller variety that will produce earlier.
The recommended spacing is about 18 inches between plants, but I will be honest and tell you I planted 2 rows of 4, in a 4 ft. wide bed.
They get to be about the same height as peppers, around 2-3 feet. I’ve heard some people say they stake them, but I never have.
Eggplant have both the male and female parts on the same flower, and are more likely to be pollinated by wind than by bees.
They can be prolific, but if you love them that is good news!
With eggplants, it’s very easy to know when they are ready to harvest, they look like this:
Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.
Actually, eggplant get shiny when they are ripe. But you don’t have to wait, you can pick them smaller.
The best way is to cut the stem, not to pull the plant.
Check out our Recipes tab above for some ways to enjoy your harvest!
Botanical name: Solanum melongena
Days to maturity: 62-90 depending on variety and when started indoors, add 2 months if you are direct seeding.
Yield: Multiple fruits from each plant.
Storage: For long term storage, blanch and freeze. You can also freeze prepared dishes.
Categories: eggplant aka aubergines