Summer Crops: How to Grow Eggplant

Though technically it is a fruit, the majority of men and women understand eggplant as a comfortable summer vegetable. It truly enjoys warm summer weather, requiring just two to three months of hot days and hot nights to thrive. Fortunately, it is a pretty sight in the garden while climbing, a small bush with large leaves which have a purplish cast, light lavender flowers and fruits that are stunning. You’ve got your choice of fruit colours, from the traditional purple to green, pinkish red, white and striped, as well as shapes, from either oval or oblong to the Asian or Japanese types.

Days to maturity: 62 to 90
moderate requirement: Full sun
Water requirement: Frequent
Oval: Black Beauty, Burpee Hybrid, Casper (a white variety), Diamond, Dusky, Hansel, Florida High Bush, Listada de Gandia, Rosa Bianca, Purple Rain, ZebraAsian: Fairy Tale (good container selection), Farmer’s Long (good container alternative), Ichiban, Millionaire, Neon, Pingtung Long

Planting and care: Choose a website with fertile, well-drained soil in which you didn’t grow eggplant the preceding calendar year. For the best results, start seeds inside one and a half to 2 months before your planting date, then place them (or nursery starts) out once day temperatures reach 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) and nighttime temperatures remain above 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius). Set them at least 18 to 30 inches apart; leave 3 feet between rows. If you’re increasing the eggplant in containers, select ones which are at least 16 inches wide and one foot deep.

Water regularly and intensely, mulch to keep the soil moist and marijuana regularly. Taller plants (they could reach 4 feet in height) may need to be encouraged, particularly when they’re still young or when the fruit is large.

Great growing practices and adequate watering can help prevent problems, however, eggplants continue to be subject to a number of pests, including aphids, Colorado potato beetles, cutworms, flea beetles, lacewings, spider mites, tomato hornworms and whiteflies. They are also more prone to plant diseases, such as blights, blossom end rot, mildew and wilts.

Amy Renea

Harvest: Cut (don’t pull) the fruit from the plant once it matures and has color but until it loses its glossy sheen.

More: How to Begin Your Summer Garden From Seeds

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