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Eggplant Growing Tips

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Overview:

Eggplant actually does come in a small, white egg-shaped variety. Most Americans have never seen one, so the name seems inappropriate. There are actually a great variety of eggplants, many much easier to grow than the large, oblong, purple varieties we are used to.

Latin Name:

Solanum melongena

Common Name(s): Eggplant

Zone:

Size:

Usually about 3' tall and bushy

Exposure:

Full sun

Days to Harvest:

Varies with variety. Most take at least 65- 70 days from transplant

Description:

Eggplants are in the Solanaceae family, with tomatoes, peppers and potatoes. Along with the many large, oblong varieties there are also long, thin, oriental types and small round egg-shaped eggplants. Color is even more varied with an almost black purple, blushes of lavender, green, pink and creamy white.

Cultural Notes:

Eggplants need warmth. Planting in raised beds or containers can kick start the season in cooler climates. The long, oriental varieties mature faster than the oblong types.

Maintenance: Flea beetles are the biggest problem, chewing leaves and spreading disease. Floating row covers will help.

Protect against Verticillium Wilt by buying resistant varieties and by not planting in the same area year after year.

Harvesting:

Eggplants should be shiny and firm, but not hard to the touch. Picking before they are fully grown is fine and will encourage more fruit set. Cut the fruits from the plant, don’t pull. Harvested eggplants will store in a cool spot for 1-2 weeks.

Suggested Varieties:

‘Black Beauty’, ‘Listadia di Grandia’ and ‘Rosa Bianca’ for long season gardens.
‘Ping Tung’, ‘Louisiana Long Green’ and ‘Orient Express’ mature faster in cool season gardens.

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