Eggplants are a delicious and versatile addition to any meal, and they’re easy to grow at home with just a little bit of care. In this guide, we’ll show you everything you need to know about how to grow eggplant, from choosing the right variety to planting, caring for, and harvesting your crop. We’ll also answer some of the most common questions about growing eggplants, so you can be sure your plants are healthy and productive all season long.
How to Plant Eggplant.
When choosing an eggplant variety, consider both the size and shape of the fruit, as well as the plant’s maturity date. Some popular varieties include ‘Black Beauty’, ‘Pingtung Long’, and ‘Thai Yellow’.
Eggplants come in many shapes and sizes – from small, round fruits to long, slender ones. The skin can be smooth or bumpy, and the flesh can be white, green, purple, or even striped.
Maturity dates range from 50 to 90 days. This means that if you live in a climate with a short growing season, you’ll want to choose a variety that matures quickly. For longer growing seasons, you have more flexibility in your choice of variety.
Prepare the Soil.
Eggplants are warm-season vegetables that need rich, well-drained soil with a pH between 6.0 and 6.8 to thrive. If your soil is poor or clayey, amend it with compost or other organic matter before planting eggplant seedlings or transplants.
It’s also important to make sure your plants have plenty of room to grow – eggplants should be spaced 12-18 inches apart in the garden bed. If you’re planting more than one row of eggplants, space the rows 36-48 inches apart.
Plant the Eggplant
If you’re starting with seedlings (transplants), wait until all danger of frost has passed before planting them in the garden bed. If you’re planting seeds directly in the ground, wait until after the last frost date to sow them about ¼ inch deep in hills or rows spaced 12-18 inches apart. Thin seedlings to one per hill or 18 inches apart in rows once they’ve grown their first true leaves.
Water newly planted eggplants deeply so that their roots can establish themselves well before hot weather arrives.”
How to Care for Eggplant.
Eggplants need to be watered regularly, especially when the fruits are developing. Too little water will cause the fruits to be small and bitter. The best way to water eggplants is by using a soaker hose or drip irrigation system.
Eggplants should be fertilized every two weeks with a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10. If you are using organic fertilizer, then fish emulsion or compost tea are good choices.
Mulching eggplants helps to keep the soil moist and cool, and also prevents weeds from competing with the plants for resources. A layer of straw or black plastic sheeting makes an effective mulch.
If you are growing taller varieties of eggplant, then you will need to stake them to prevent the stems from breaking under the weight of the fruits. Bamboo stakes are ideal for this purpose. Drive them into the ground around the perimeter of the planting area, and then tie the eggplant stems to them with twine or light wire.
How to Harvest Eggplant.
Harvest eggplants when they are firm and glossy, and the skin gives slightly when touched. The fruit should be 6 to 9 inches long, depending on the variety. Smaller eggplants are usually more tender. Look for any sign of yellowing or browning on the skin, as this is a sign that the eggplant is overripe and will not be as tasty. If you’re not sure if an eggplant is ripe, cut it open—it should be white or pale green inside.
To extend the harvest season, pick eggplants regularly, every three to four days. Eggplants that are allowed to ripen on the vine will become tough and bitter.
Eggplants can be harvested with either a sharp knife or pruning shears. Cut through the stem about an inch above the fruit, taking care not to damage any nearby fruits or leaves. If you’re using pruning shears, clean them with rubbing alcohol between cuts to avoid spreading disease.
After harvesting, store eggplants in a cool (60°F), dark place until you’re ready to use them. They’ll keep for up to a week this way.
Questions and answers about growing eggplants
Eggplants can grow to be quite large, depending on the variety. Some varieties can grow to be as big as 2 feet long and 1 foot wide.
Why is my eggplant plant turning yellow
If your eggplant plant is turning yellow, it could be due to a number of reasons. It could be due to a nutrient deficiency, too much water, or too little water. If you think it might be a nutrient deficiency, try fertilizing your plant with an organic fertilizer. If you think it might be too much or too little water, adjust your watering schedule accordingly.
Why is my eggplant plant not growing
If your eggplant plant is not growing, it could be due to a number of reasons. It could be because the soil is too dry or compacted, the temperature is too cold, or the plant is getting too much sun or wind. If you suspect any of these might be the problem, take corrective action accordingly. For example, if you think the soil might be too dry or compacted, try loosening it up with a garden fork and/or adding some organic matter to it such as compost or manure.
What can be grown with eggplant
Eggplants can be grown with other vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, and squash. They can also be grown with herbs such as basil and oregano.
Can eggplant be grown from cuttings
Yes, eggplants can be grown from cuttings taken from an existing plant. To do this, take a 4-6 inch cutting from a healthy stem and strip off the lower leaves so that only 2-3 leaves are left at the top of the cutting. Plant the cutting in moist potting mix and keep it warm (around 70 degrees Fahrenheit) and humid until new growth appears.
Can eggplant be grown hydroponically
Yes, eggplant can be grown hydroponically. Hydroponic systems provide plants with a nutrient-rich solution instead of soil. This method is often used for plants that require high levels of nutrients, such as tomatoes and peppers. Eggplants will need a minimum of 8 hours of sunlight per day and a consistent supply of water and nutrients.
Does eggplant grow back
Eggplant is an annual plant, which means it will not grow back after being harvested. However, you can save the seeds from your harvest to plant the following year. Eggplant seeds are typically viable for 3-5 years.
What soil does eggplant grow in
Eggplants prefer loose, well-drained soils rich in organic matter. The ideal pH range for eggplants is 6.0-7.0. Amending the soil with compost or manure before planting will help improve drainage and increase fertility.
Will eggplant grow on a trellis
Yes, some varieties of eggplant can be trained to grow on a trellis or other support structure. This is especially useful if you have limited space for gardening. Trellised plants are also less likely to succumb to diseases and pests. Look for varieties of eggplant that are specifically bred for trellising, such as ‘Tango’ or ‘ocarde’.
Thank you for reading this guide on how to grow eggplant. We hope that you found it informative and helpful. Eggplant is a delicious and versatile vegetable that can be used in many different dishes. With a little bit of care and attention, eggplant can be easy to grow and produce a bountiful harvest.
If you have any questions or tips about growing eggplant, please share them with us in the comments section below. And if you want to learn more about growing vegetables, be sure to check out our other gardening guides.