Eggplant is a small to medium bush type vegetable that produces smooth, glossy skinned fruit that can vary in length from 5 to 12 inches long.
The varieties offered in the Homegrown Gourmet™ line of veggies includes Eggplant Black Beauty, Eggplant Gretel (All-America Selections Winner), and Eggplant Ichiban.
- Eggplant needs a warm soil to grow, so if in a cooler area, use black plastic on the soil to help warm it up.
- Plant in full sun location.
- Till the soil and remove and roots, rocks and other debris. Add compost to enrich the soil.
- Well-drained soil is preferred.
- Soil pH of 5.5 to 6.8 is best.
- Space plants 18 to 24 inches apart.
- Dig several inches down when planting and put some fertilizer in the soil. Cover with soil before transplanting plants.
- Do not plant in same location as last year – it is very important to rotate the crop from year to year.
- Don’t overwater the plants as it can cause root rot.
- Maintain an even moisture around the plant.
- Use mulch to keep soil warm and moisture levels consistent. This will also help keep weeds in check.
- Eggplants are heavy feeders so side dress with compost tea every 2 to 3 weeks.
- Add a dose of fertilizer when fruit starts forming.
- Pick fruit at full color potential but before the seeds harden and turn brown.
- The skin should be tight, firm and unwrinkled. Over-ripe fruit is tough and bitter.
- Harvest young before the flesh becomes pithy.
- Cut the fruit from the stem with a sharp knife.
- Keep garden clear of debris to avoid diseases.
- Garden Trowel
- Garden Hose or Watering Can
- Sharp Knife
- Homegrown Gourmet™ Eggplants
- Gardening Gloves
Whole eggplant will keep in a well-ventilated place for up to a week at 50° F. It is best not to refridgerate eggplant.
The place of origin is not known, but it is believed to be Southeastern India or possibly China. Around the ninth century, Arab agriculturalists brought eggplant to the Mediterranean.
Did You Know… —
The eggplant was treated with suspicion at first. The medieval Arab toxicologist Ibn Wahshiya (circa 940) said it was fatal if eaten raw. He was mistaken, but his advice was taken to heart in medieval Europe for many centuries.