Growing Guide ~ Eggplant

Eggplant  Solanum melongena

Family  Solanaceae

Relatives – Tomatoes, Capsicums, Potatoes

Seed to harvest 19 weeks

Eggplant seeds

Eggplants are very heat sensitive.  Seed should be started at least 2 weeks before the last frosts are due.  Eggplant seeds can be very slow to germinate, mine have take up to 3 weeks! 

Once the seedlings have emerged they will be very slow to progress to anything that looks like a eggplant.  It is during this time it is most important that they do not dry out or suffer any stresses as it too will delay growth.

Now if this all sounds to hard and too long, it is much easier to buy a plant from the nursery 😉

When finally the plants reach 10 to 15cm high they are large enough to be planted out into the garden.  Like their cousins the Tomatoes they like it hot.  A full sun position with soil rich in organic matter will give them the best start.  At 12 weeks they should begin to produce.  Unless you really like eggplants or have a very large family 1 or 2 plants will provide more than enough fruit.

eggplant seedlings

These seeds were sown on the 27th of August.  And they are only 5cm high.  Very slow growing….

the bushes grow they might need some support.  Pinching out growing tips will cause the plants to bush, however this is more trouble than it is worth.

Dedicated gardenres can protect plants (providing your winters are not too cold)  from winter frosts.  I have accidently left a plant in a garden that was discontinued and my lovely hubby chucked a pallet ontop of it.  It lived through the winter and is now flowering like mad.

 

My eggplanteggplant flower

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