Top Tips for Easier Eggplant
Eggplant seeds ship with Tower Garden. But how much do you know about this curious crop?
There are several different kinds of eggplant. Some yield big, purple, pear-shaped fruit perfect for stuffing, baking or even grilling. Others produce long, slender, multi-colored fruit ideal for stir-frying. But all are easy to grow with Tower Garden and healthy to eat!
Speaking of eating, did you know eggplant is commonly found in Indian, French, Turkish, Greek, Iranian and Italian cuisine? It’s truly an international food.
Here are our top tips to help you grow your own eggplant.
Fun Fact: In the 18th century, some eggplant varieties produced yellowish-white fruit that resembled goose or hen eggs. Hence, the name “eggplant.”
Planting, Pruning, Pollinating and More
As a warm weather crop, eggplant is very sensitive to cold. So be sure to wait to plant it until all danger of frost has passed (ideally once temperatures consistently stay above 65˚).
When starting eggplant, plant about 4 seeds per rock wool cube. Seeds should germinate within 1–2 weeks. After this happens, put them outside in the sun to increase their hardiness.
Tower Tip: For step-by-step instructions on starting seeds and transplanting seedlings, reference page 7 of the Tower Garden Growing Guide.
Seedlings should be ready to transplant 3–4 weeks after sprouting. Because eggplant can grow large and heavy, we recommend planting it in the bottom section of your Tower Garden.
Like its close relative the tomato, eggplant requires the support of a tomato cage or similar structure. And you may need to prune your plants occasionally.
Tower Tip: If your eggplant produces pretty little flowers but no fruit, the problem could be pollination. Learn how to hand pollinate eggplant »
Preventing Pests and Diseases
Growing with Tower Garden is one of the best ways to prevent pests and plant diseases. That said, you may want to keep an eye out for:
- Cucumber beetles
- Flea beetles
- Early blight
- Bacterial leaf spot
- Bacterial wilt
Discover how you can naturally beat bad bugs and prevent plant diseases like these.
Harvesting and Eating
Your eggplant should be ready to harvest about 4–7 weeks after transplanting. But you can begin harvesting when fruit is 6–8 inches long by cutting just above the cap of the eggplant.
Keep in mind this is a crop you want to harvest when it’s young. If eggplants are left on the vine too long, they may become spongy and bitter.
We recommend using your harvests as soon as possible, as eggplant doesn’t store well. Need some ideas for how to use it? Eggplant is an essential ingredient in ratatouille—and we happen to have a recipe right here. Also, its hearty texture makes it a popular substitute for meat in vegetarian dishes (faux bacon, anyone?).
Tower Tip: For more advice on growing eggplant, download our PDF guide »
Have you grown eggplant? Share your tips and stories in the comments below!
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