Grow Guide Conditions:
Eggplant thrives in hot, humid climates. It is a cold sensitive, heat loving crop and requires a long, warm growing season for successful production. A heavy feeder, it is best grown on fertile, sandy-loam soils with a pH of 6–6.8. It is often grown with the use of plastic mulch or plastic covered hoops to increase soil temperatures. Drip irrigation is recommended.
Grow Guide Seed:
Eggplant is most commonly started indoors 9–10 weeks prior to planting. Optimum greenhouse temperatures are 64–70°F at night and 70–81°F daytime. Fill starter tray with a sterile seed staring mix. Plant 2 seeds per cell, ¼ inch deep. Optimum soil temperature for germination is 75-85°F which can be provided by our seedling heat mat. When seedlings have 2 true leaves, thin to one plant per cell by snipping off the weaker seedling at the soil level. Harden-off seedlings for 5–7 days prior to transplanting. Transplant 6-8 week old seedlings outside in a fertile garden bed 18-24 inches apart, allowing 36 inches between rows, being careful not to disturb the roots.
Grow Guide Pests:
Practice crop rotations and good garden sanitation to reduce incidence of Verticillium Wilt and Fusarium Wilt, soil borne fungal pathogens with broad host ranges. Use drip irrigation to minimize foliar diseases such as Anthracnose, and use floating row covers to manage flea beetles. See our merchandise section for related products.
Grow Guide Harvest:
Harvest by cutting from the plant when fruits have developed color, but are still firm to the touch and glossy. When harvested late, bitterness might develop around the seeds. Best consumed fresh, they can be stored for a few days on a cool kitchen counter as they are chill sensitive below 50°F and deteriorate readily at higher temperatures.