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Growing Eggplant, also Aubergine

(Solanum sp.)

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  S S   P              

(Best months for planting Eggplant in USA - Zone 5a regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays. P = Plant direct in garden where they are to grow.

  • Grow in seed trays, and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 24°C and 32°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 60 - 75 cm apart
  • Harvest in 12-15 weeks. Cut fruit with scissors or sharp knife.
  • Compatible with (can grow in same bed): Beans, capsicum, lettuce, amaranth, thyme
  • Avoid growing in same bed: Potatoes
  • A seedling
  • Eggplant

A large bushy plant with attractive purple flowers. Has spiky stems. Wear gloves to harvest fruit as the spikes on the calyx are sharp enough to break one's skin.

In United Kingdom - grow in heated greenhouse. Reduce artificial heat during summer months

Needs a long season. Start under cover and plant out when frosts have finished.

Some varieties with slim, long fruit such as Asian Bride produce their fruit earlier. Mulch well and keep well watered. May need staking

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Eggplant

Cut and use the same day if possible.
Slice, no need to peel, and fry in olive oil.
Brush with oil and grill or bake.
Or microwave,plain, for about 4 minutes on high.
Makes a good substitute for pasta in lasagne or moussaka.
Can be smoked over a gas ring or barbecue, cooled and peeled and used to make dips.

Your comments and tips

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25 Mar 14, Donald Chandraratna (Australia - arid climate)
Can I prune the old plants and wait for the next summer
15 Mar 14, Phil (Australia - temperate climate)
Have picked 2 eggplants from my bushes once they turned purple but the remainder of the fruit have turned yellow and seem to be softening. Is this normal?
22 Apr 14, Alpeshkumar Patel (Australia - temperate climate)
Turning yellow means they are now ripe. You can get seeds for next year from them.
13 Mar 14, Shannon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
My eggplants have a whitish coating over all the stems, that can be scraped off with a fingernail. The top leaves are curling and dying. Does anyone know what this could be? There are no insects on the plants. Thank you!
04 Mar 14, Parm (Australia - temperate climate)
I plant eggplant late December. My eggplant got flower but not fruit. I see some bees and butterfly in my garden but still I try to do hand pollination. Mostly I use to water every day or other. I live in albany wa
22 Jan 14, Kezia (Australia - temperate climate)
I planted an eggplant last year 2013 July. It has produced quite a lot of fruits since November, but what will happen to the plant from February onwards? The chart on this website about eggplant showing blank (no S or T sign) from February to July?
21 Dec 13, Renate (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
My eggplants are brownish colour not dark like the usual colour what is missing?
28 Oct 13, Jim Petterson (USA - Zone 7a climate)
Is egplant perennial in zone 7a Charlotte NC
12 Aug 13, bob westport (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
how long a life has an egg plant got or is it just an annual plant
01 Sep 13, indy (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Eggplant is a semi-tropical perennial that's best treated as an annual in temperate or cooler clmates . Unless you've been able to source reliable heritage varieties the best fruit is most likely going to only be had during the first season
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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.

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