Nutrition Articles

Fruit and Vegetable Gardening A-Z: Eggplant

A Guide to Gardening, Growing and Harvesting Edibles

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Eggplants can come in a variety of shades, from lavender to emerald green. The most common variety is the deep purple and oval-shaped beauties we see at the grocery store.

Hardiness Zones:
9-11 (Find your hardiness zone.)

When to Plant:
Start seeds indoors 8-10 weeks prior to planting outdoors in mid to late spring (or 2-3 weeks after the last frost). Starter plants are also available from nurseries and home improvement stores, and can be planted directly into the soil when indicated above.

Conditions:
Before planting, work a lot of compost, as well as moderate amount of organic fertilizer such as blood meal, bat guano, or well-rotted manure, into the soil. Eggplant needs a lot of sun to thrive.

Space Needed:
Seedlings should be spaced 18-24 inches apart in rows about 3 feet apart.

Maintenance:
Eggplants are heavy feeders and do well with regular fertilization while growing. They also require a lot of water; eggplant becomes bitter if under-watered. Flea beetles and spider mites are a common problem on eggplant. If infestation occurs, spray with an all-natural insecticide spray.

When to Harvest:
Harvest when eggplants are shiny and firm. If the skin turns dull, they have been on the vine too long.

Average Yield: Each plant can yield about 2 pounds of eggplant.

Continuous Yield:
Yes

Life Cycle:
Annual

Difficulty Rating (1-5): 3

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About The Author

Jenny Sigler Jenny Sigler
Jenny is a stay-at-home mom to her young children, Augustine and Olive. An avid gardener and baker, she enjoys writing about health and childcare topics to empower people to make healthy choices. See all of Jenny's articles.

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