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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

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

20 Jan 18, Diana (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I live on the Tutukaka coast and have a healthy looking eggplant with lots of flowers which fall off without fruit forming. Why is this happening and what can I do? Thank you.
20 Jan 18, Alison (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I have eggplants in a tunnel house. The plants look amazing and are flowering like crazy and look to be pollinating but then drop off before fruit develops. They are getting plenty of water and tomatoes in the same greenhouse are fruiting happily. What am I dong wrong?
15 Jan 18, Phil Morton (Australia - temperate climate)
I've got three Asian eggplants growing, all from the same source, one in the ground and the other two in a raised garden bed. They all get equal treatment re fertiliser and watering but the two in the raised bed produce smaller fruit that is a very pale purple and tougher while the other has long much bigger deep purple fruit that's perfect. What could the likely cause be? pH or something else?
17 Jan 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
The soil could be the difference. The raised bed would dry out quicker than the garden bed probably. Do they get the same amount of sunlight?
14 Jan 18, Paula Mouat (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I am growing eggplant for the first time in a glasshouse. My plant is growing very well with lots of fruit. The fruit are large and pale. How long should I wait before harvesting?
02 Jan 18, (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Hi, is it worth trying to grow aubergines in Dunedin?
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.
Showing 1 - 10 of 212 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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