Eggplant – Vegetable Profile

By: Dan Hagan - Managing Editor

Zone 9 Eggplant

Name Eggplant
Varieties Black Beauty, Bambino, Diva, Little Fingers
Family Tomatoes
Exposure Full Sun
Size 2-5′ tall plants, wide range of sizes for fruits
Days to Harvest 85-100 days
Description An eggplant plant looks similar to that of a tomato or pepper plant, just a little bit sturdier.  The plant grows about 2-5′ tall bearing fruits that range from a light purple to dark black.
Sowing Sow seeds indoors about 6 to 8 weeks before final frost of the season.  Transplant the seedlings outdoors about 2 to 3 weeks after the last frost.
Growing Eggplant is a heavy feeder requiring a lot of nutrients to grow and produce fruit.  The amount of Nitrogen should, however, be moderate as a high amount of nitrogen will cause the plant to grow large and leafy and produce poorly.  Eggplant is very drought tolerant and should not be over watered.  1″ of water a week is often enough.

Because eggplant is a heat lover the soil should be mulched heavily to help avoid evaporation and maintain nutrients in the soil.

Harvest Eggplants should be harvest sooner than what you normally see in the market, about half the size.  Once the skin become shiny and reflective the fruit is ready to harvest.  The earlier they are harvested the more flavor they will have and the less seeds will be present.
Notes Eggplant blossoms are self pollinating.

Eggplant blossoms should be pruned off starting about 5 weeks before first frost of the season to direct all energy to ripening fruits already on the plant.

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