Sunlight: Full sun
Maturity: 60-100 days
Height: 2 to 4 feet
Spacing: 18 to 24 inches apart, 2 to 3 feet between rows
Eggplant is a beautiful, warm-season annual that is relatively easy to grow providing you have warm temperatures. The planting season must be consistently warm with daytime temperatures around 80˚F and nighttime temperatures not falling below 65˚F. Anything cooler will result in slow to no growth once you’ve set your plants outside.
A member of the Solanaceae family, eggplant is closely related to tomatoes, peppers, ground cherry and potatoes. Numerous colorful varieties are available for home gardeners.
Eggplant varieties come in shapes and colors you’ve never seen in the grocery store.View all
All heirloom eggplant seeds offered by Planet Natural are non-treated, non-GMO and NOT purchased from Monsanto-owned Seminis. Planting instructions are included with each packet and shipping is FREE!
- Only plant in warm weather after all danger of frost is gone
- Start seeds indoors or buy seedlings to transplant outdoors
- Choose a site in full sun; prep soil with plenty of compost and organic matter
- Water and fertilize regularly
- Harvest in 60-100 days
- Pests include flea beetles, potato beetles, aphids, hornworms; common diseases are Verticillium and Fusarium wilts.
Eggplant should be planted in full sun and require ample water and fertile soil with lots of organic matter. The plants are easily injured by frost and will not do well with long periods of cool weather (see Eggplant Requires Heat, Patience). Use plastic mulches, floating row cover and greenhouse buckets to warm the soil and increase eggplant yields.
How to Plant
Eggplants should be treated like tomatoes, the only difference being that eggplants like warmer temperatures. Start your own seeds two months before the last frost or get seedlings from a local source, then plant them after the soil has warmed. Use black plastic to heat the soil if your area has long, cool springs.
Set plants 18 to 24 inches apart in raised beds or double rows 2 to 3 feet apart. Apply organic fertilizer every two weeks throughout the gardening season.
To harvest large eggplants, remove most of the side shoots and select two or three fruits to develop on one plant. For smaller fruits, allow the plants to develop naturally. For best flavor, harvest while fruit is young and shiny. Cut fruits from the plants with one inch of stem attached. Allow 60-100 days to reach maturity from transplanting.
Insects and Diseases
Eggplant is susceptible to flower drop and misshapen fruit due to extreme temperatures.
Tip: Fill containers with organic potting soils to eliminate a wide array of herbicides, pesticides, heavy metals and other chemicals that can make their way into non-organic, commercial mixes.
Seed Saving Instructions
To save eggplant seed, let the fruits grow far past the edible stage. Seed saved from immature or ready-to-eat plants will not be viable. Grate or blend the bottom portion of the eggplant, which contains the greatest seed density, using a hand grater or food processor. The small seeds are firm and slippery so there is very little chance of damage. Put all of the gratings into a bowl and fill with water. Squeeze the gratings vigorously. The good seeds will separate out and sink to the bottom. Allow seed to dry before storing.
Gardeners know earthworm castings to be rich in nutrients and beneficial microbes.
Red Mulch Film
Better Reds has been tested to show on average a 20% increase in fruit yield.
Floating row covers let in sun, water and air... but keep bugs out! Protects to 26°F.
Fish & Seaweed (2-3-1)
Use on a regular basis for bigger crops, increased sugars and better blooms.