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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 = Sow seed

  • 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 beside): Beans, capsicum, lettuce, amaranth, thyme
  • Avoid growing close to: Potatoes
  • A seedling
    A seedling
  • Eggplant
    Eggplant

A large bushy plant with attractive purple flowers. Different varieties have different colours and sizes of fruit, ranging from the 'classic' large purple to the Thai small white varieties and Brazilian red.

Has spiky stems. Wear gloves to harvest fruit as the spikes on the calyx are sharp enough to break one's skin.

In cold climates grow in heated greenhouse and reduce artificial heat during summer.

Perennial in tropical climates otherwise grown as an annual.

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

01 Dec 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Could someone please tell me. I planted what i thought were Turkish Egg plants. The vegetables that have formed are in a spiky what appears to be a shell of sorts..A bit like the old fashioned Maces the Medieval knights used to use in combat. Completely stumped. I do not have a clue as to what these may be.
03 Dec 17, Mike (Australia - temperate climate)
How certain are you they are Turkish Egg plants. Let them grow and see what the end up like. Google about them - read all you can. Or look up some seed selling companies and buy some real T E P seeds. The joys of gardening.
17 Nov 17, L.T. (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I have nice flowers on my Aubergine plants but they either drop or die before producing the fruit, also I am trying to grow globe courgette, the fruit looks beautiful and healthy but as soon as it becomes the size of a golf ball they drop off and die. What can I do to get the veggies I want
20 Nov 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Read through the comments about Zucchini here. They need pollinating - bees or by hand.
15 Nov 17, Ian Gall (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
I, m growing my egg plant in a tunnel house, the leaves are turning black? What to do?
21 Nov 17, rachel (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
it's most likely a fungus, you need to spray with something like organic copper
20 Nov 17, Michael (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I have the opposite - all the lower leaves are turning yellow! But at least I have a couple of dark fruit growing fast.
23 Oct 17, Robyn Boswell (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Several years ago i bought a patio miniature eggplant which produced really well. I haven't been able to find one since. Can you tell if i can buy the seeds or plant anywhere please? I am in northland
25 Oct 17, Lorraine (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
I purchased Egg Plants from Mitre 10 Whangarei 2 years ago give them a call they will back order if they don't have them in stock
20 May 17, Linda (Australia - temperate climate)
I have an eggplant still producing fruit but they aren't turning purple are they ok to eat
Showing 1 - 10 of 206 comments

Egg plant, tomatoes, potatoes and capsicums are in the same family as deadly nightshade and produce an alkaloid called Solanine which can be toxic. An average adult would need to consume 400 mg of Solanine for it to be life threatening and an average eggplant would contain around 11 mg so you would have to eat over 35 egg plants to get to that level. Maybe you have a passion for them! Trust this helps.

- Sean

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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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