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Growing Eggplant, also Aubergine

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
  S S   P              

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

S = Plant undercover in seed trays. P = Plant in the garden.

  • 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 75°F and 90°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 24 - 30 inches 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
    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

12 Oct 15, Prometheus (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
A quick tip for those trying to grow eggplant in a cool climate with a short growing season - rather than waiting for the end of Spring frost (usually November here), you really should be getting eggplants in the ground by October at the latest. They need a long growing season to produce abundant fruit and the warm weather months in these climates are limited. They take a long time to raise from seed, so are best purchased at nurseries etc. at this time of year. To protect them from Spring frosts one trick is to cut off the top halves of plastic softdrink or mineral water bottles, remove the lid for ventilation, and securely place the top half in the circle of soil surrounding the young seedling. In the event of late frost, this will improve their chances of survival. If growing in containers, moving them to a sheltered, part-sun location (eg. under the dappled shade of a tree) may also help protect them from late frosts. The same can be done for other frost sensitive crops in the nightshade family eg. tomatoes, chillies, capsicum. Happy gardening, P.
30 Oct 15, Steve (Australia - temperate climate)
Great advice! Thank you very much :-)
03 Jun 15, Sally-Anne Pucek (Australia - temperate climate)
Eggplants are great chopped and added to a spicy curry,
19 Jun 15, Roy (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Sally-Anne you are so right about using egg plant in curries,the variety I use is the small one just about ready when they are about 10 centimetres long and still have a mauve colour.
04 Apr 15, Dave (Australia - temperate climate)
Have had a good feed from my two plants which are still producing fruit. What is likely to happen as it gets colder?
09 Mar 15, Robert Tompsett (Australia - temperate climate)
I planted egg plant seeds in my protected part of the garden, and they have grown fine with lots of flowers and I have harvested two fairly large fruits already. But the rest are fairly small and do not seem to be growing. I have fertilized, and i water every second day. will they grow into April month ?? I am in Canberra
06 Apr 15, Paysin (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi It's probably ok till April but once it gets cooler it won't do very well. Try staking the plant as it supports it to help produce bigger fruit. Also if there are multiple fruits then they can be a bit smaller.
28 Feb 15, Louise (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
My eggplants are growing beautifully. They are pretty much full size and have been purple until today. They have now got a yellowish tinge on the skins. They are watered regularly and have heaps of sun. I live in Brisbane Queensland.
17 Jan 15, Willie Bouma (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
After 15 weeks there are many flowers but no fruit.
17 Jan 15, Roger (Australia - temperate climate)
I have experienced the same issue as Pam. Planted my Eggplant in November from seeds. Got healthy plants with flowers , but only one small fruit about the size of a large apple on one plant. Water not an issue. Garden reticulated. Any suggestions
Showing 1 - 10 of 157 comments

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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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