Eggplant F1 ‘Gretel’ may not look like what you think of as an eggplant, but I’ve always found the long, slender varieties easier to grow. They also seem to hold their texture better when cooking and taste less bitter, probably because they grow quickly. Speed is one of Eggplant F1 ‘Gretel’ main selling points. If you gave up growing eggplant because your season is too short or your pests to overwhelming, 'Gretel' may tempt you. The fruits can mature in 55 days. That’s less than 2 months! The warmer the weather, the faster they grow.
These are tiny eggplants, best harvested when they are about 3 - 4 inches long. Thankfully, they grow in clusters and the skin stays tender even if you’re a little late picking them.
The plants stay compact, averaging about 3' wide and 3' tall at maturity, so it’s a nice choice for containers. Growing eggplant in containers is a great way to gain some control on the miryad of pests that feed on eggplant and overwinter in the garden. The breeder recommends using a container that’s at least 16" deep, for each plant.
By the way, If you’re an eggplant geek, you may remember that one of 2008's AAS Vegetable Winners was Eggplant F1 'Hansel'.
AAS® WINNER DATA
- Genus species: Solanum melongena
- Common names: Eggplant, Aubergine
- Length of time from transplanting to harvest: 55 days
- Fruit size: Fruit can be harvested at 3 inches or longer
- Fruit shape: Elongated-teardrop
- Plant height: 3 feet tall
- Plant width: 3 feet wide
- Plant habit: Compact plant adaptable to containers
- Garden spacing: 2 feet apart
- Color: Glossy white fruit
More on growing eggplant.