The information contained in these web pages has not been
verified for correctness. Some of the information contained herein is hearsay and may not
be correct. Use the information from these pages only at your own risk!
Eggplant is a native of India but is widely grown
in the warmer regions of both hemispheres, especially in the West Indies and southern
Eggplant (also known as guinea squash) is a very tender vegetable that requires a long,
warm season for best yields. The culture of eggplant is similar to that of tomatoes, but
eggplants are spaced closer together than tomato plants and are not staked. Eggplant
require careful attention for a good harvest. Small-fruited and ornamental varieties can
be grown in containers, or for decorative purposes.
- Classic - 76 days to maturity. An extremely productive hybrid: long,
slim, tapered fruit, glossy black color.
- Jersey King Hybrid - 73 days to maturity. Long, slim, tapered fruits,
- Dusky Hybrid - 63 days to maturity. Resistant to mosaic. Early hybrid;
attractive oval fruit on compact plants.
Eggplants are best started by transplanting, and
it is important to get the plant off to a proper start. Select plants that have soil with
the roots. Do not plant too early. Transplant after the soil has warmed and the danger of
frost has passed. Eggplants are more susceptible than tomato plants to injury from low
Space plants 18 to 20 inches apart in the row.
Three to six plants are usually sufficient for most families. Allow 30 to 36 inches
Use a starter fertilizer solution when
transplanting. Sidedress nitrogen when the plants are half grown and again immediately
after harvest of the first fruits. The plants will tolerate dry weather after they are
well established, but you should irrigate during extended dry periods. Eggplant thrives
during the heat of summer.
Days to maturity: 100-150 days from seed; 70-85 days from transplants
Harvest the fruits when they are 6 to 8 inches
long and glossy. Fruit should be large, shiny, and a uniformly deep purple color. When the
side of the fruit is pressed slightly with thumbnail and an indentation remains, the fruit
is ripe. Long, slender, Japanese eggplant may be ready to harvest from finger or hotdog
size. If fruit is a dull color and has brown seeds, it is too ripe and should be
discarded. Use a knife or pruning shears rather than breaking or twisting the stems. Leave
the large, usually green, calyx attached to the fruit.
When the fruits become dull and brown, they are too mature for culinary use and should
be cut off and discarded. Overmature fruits are spongy and seedy. The fruit does not store
well and should be eaten soon after it is harvested. Large, vigorous plants can yield as
many as four to six fruits at the peak of the season.
Yields: (per 10 feet of row) 20 pounds
Amount per person: 12 lbs.
Storage: cool (45F-50F), moist (90% RH) conditions; 1 week
Preservation: freeze, pickle
Verticillium wilt causes
yellowing, wilting, and death of the plants. Flea beetles cause tiny
holes in the leaves, and damage can be severe if unchecked. These beetles can be
controlled by applying an insecticide.
Diseases: Verticillium wilt
Insects: flea beetles, aphids, lace bugs, Colorado potato beetle, red
I planted my eggplants early, but they did not grow very well. Why?
They probably were planted while the soil was too cold. It is better to hold the plants
(but keep them growing) until the soil warms. Eggplant should be planted one week later
than tomatoes. Mulching with black plastic film can help warm the soil.
The fruit on my eggplant was delicious during its early production. Now, the fruit we
harvest is bitter and has brown areas on it.
The bitter fruit is caused by plant stress and subsequent slow growth stimulated by
hot, dry weather. The brown area is caused by sun scalding. If the scalding is not too
severe, it can be removed and the eggplant eaten.
What causes eggplant fruit to become misshapen and odd colored?
Poor-quality eggplant fruit are generally associated with low moisture and high
temperature conditions. Overmature eggplant fruit will become dull-colored and often
develop a bronze appearance. For maximum production, remove the eggplant fruit before they
are fully mature to allow additional fruit to develop.
Recently one of my eggplants died within a few days. I found a white fungal mat
at the base of the plant.What caused this?
This is southern blight, a soilborne disease which can be controlled by crop rotation
and prompt removal of dead plant material.
The fruit of my eggplant develops a rotted area which extends deep into the
This is probably Alternaria fruit rot but could be caused by several things. This is
not to be confused with Phomopsis fruit rot which produces a dish-shaped spot which turns
brown and has ring-like structures around it. Alternaria fruit rot is controlled with the
normal fungicide spray program.
My eggplants have quit producing. The upper leaves are turning yellow and
These are symptoms of spider mites. Check the underside of the leaves for small red
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Seed Starter : A Guide to Growing Flower, Vegetable, and Herb Seeds Indoors and
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Processing and Germinating Seeds of Wildland Plants - by Cheryl Young, James A. Young
- Publication Date: October 1, 1986 - List: $24.95
Seeds : Native American Agriculture and Wild Plant Conservation - by Gary Paul Nabhan
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- From Seed
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Gardening : A Kid's Guide to Messing Around in the Dirt/With Seeds - by Kevin Raftery,
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Now young readers will know from whence those carrots came. This full-color
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Seeds : The Gardener's Guide to Growing and Storing Vegetable and Flower Seeds - by
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- Seed to
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: The Definitive Guide to Growing, History, and Lore - by H. Peter Loewer, Peter Loewer -
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Loewer examines the vast and often surprisingly complex world of seeds in an
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A companion to Burpee Complete Gardener, this book focuses on all aspects of growing
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Acres and Independence: A Handbook for Small Farm Management - by Maurice Grenville
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Harvest : How to Harvest Fresh Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long
- by Eliot Coleman, Kathy Bary (Illustrator) - Publication Date: October
1992 - List: $19.95
Booknews, Inc. , 01/01/93:
Everyone who grows vegetables must know Coleman. He's the organic methods expert--the one
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copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.
Under Cover : A Northwest Guide to Solar Greenhouses, Cold Frames, and Cloches
- by William Head - Publication Date: November 1989 - List: $10.95
This is a complete guide to gardening with protective shelters that encourages both
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Growing to Livestock Care - by Richard W. Langer, Susan
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An indispensable guide to small-scale organic farming that features advice on everything
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Booknews, Inc. , 04/01/96:
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Propagation : Principles and Practices - by Hudson
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Hallmarked as the most successful text of its kind, this remarkably thorough text covers
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Gardening : Cultivating an Edible Landscape - by
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- Handbook of Organic Food Processing and Production -
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This expansion of a now-classic guide originally published in 1989 is intended for the
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Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
- The Art of the Kitchen Garden - by Jan Gertley,
Michael Gertley - Publication Date: January 1999 - List
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