|1 per sqf||Summer||6-8hrs+|
Eggplants are great for growing in containers and they yield a very large harvest. They are easy to grow but do take a while to mature. To make the maturing process faster you can buy transplants from a nursery in late spring or early summer.
How do I Grow Eggplants?
Start your eggplant inside from seed by sprinkling 5-10 seeds in a cup of vermiculite seven weeks before last spring frost. Your seeds will germinate in twelve days at 70 F and then bump the temperature to 85 F. When you see first shoots move your seeds to a spot where they can get full sun. Move your seedlings to trays as soon as the plants are 1-3 weeks old.
To help keep your seeds warm, while they are growing indoors, invest in a heat mat. Continue to grow your seedlings in 4 inch pots before moving them into their containers. When you’re getting ready to transplant your seedlings, warm the soil a few days beforehand by covering it with black plastic. Move your plants into their containers once weather is consistently above 10 C (50 F) at night.
If the weather is still cold, cover your eggplants to protect them from the cool weather. If you are not prepared to start eggplants from seed indoors, look for transplants at your local nursery, and plant in early summer.
1 cup: Folate (5%), Vitamin B6 (3%), Vitamin K (4%), Thiamin (2%), Manganese (10%), Potassium (5%)
Harvest your eggplant with scissors to avoid damaging the plant and pick some fruits that are half the size of mature fruit because it will stimulate the plant to keep producing. Another sign that your eggplant is ready to harvest is when they look dark and glossy.
Preparing and using
Store your eggplant on the kitchen table if you’re not going to use them right away, but don’t store them in your refrigerator. Be mindful when handling your eggplant as they can bruise easily. Eggplants are great to use in stews, stir fry and for baking. They are also great if you're looking to reduce your meat consumption as they are very hearty.
Helpful Tips and Tricks
Try pruning off some of the flowers to keep energy focused on existing fruit.