Planting Instructions for Eggplant

Overview

Eggplant, a warm season vegetable, requires a long growing period. Because it planted in the garden after all danger of frost is passed in the spring, start seedlings indoors eight weeks earlier or buy nursery eggplant seedlings that are healthy and 6 to 8 inches tall. Horticulturalists recommend Black Beauty, Burpee Hybrid, Dusky and Epic among the large oval fruit types. Elongated fruit types include Ichiban, Slim Jim and Little Fingers.

Step 1

Remove the weeds and debris from a planting site in full sunlight. Do not plant your eggplants outside until both the soil and air temperatures are warm. Eggplants do not grow while the weather is cool.

Step 2

Loosen the soil to a depth of 12 inches with a shovel. Remove large rocks, root masses and buried sticks. Add a 1-inch layer of sand if the site has a problem with drainage. Spread a 2- to 4-inch layer of peat moss or compost over the soil.

Step 3

Add a layer of 10-20-20 fertilizer to the soil. Follow the directions to get the right amount for the size of the planting area. Work the soil amendments into the soil using a shovel.

Step 4

Cover the area with a layer of black plastic mulch. This keeps the soil warm and conserves moisture. Cut a 12-inch slit in the plastic mulch. Dig a hole through the slit in the plastic mulch the size of the eggplant rootball.

Step 5

Remove the eggplant seedling from its plant pot by gently squeezing the sides and tugging it out. Place the rootball in the hole and fill it with soil. Gently firm the soil around the rootball.

Step 6

Water the seedling well. Space the rest of your eggplants 24 inches apart in all directions.

Tips and Warnings

  • Wear gloves while harvesting the eggplant fruit. Most eggplants have prickly thorns covering the stems.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Sand
  • Peat moss
  • Fertilizer
  • Black plastic mulch
  • Sharp knife
  • Eggplant seedling
  • Water

References

  • University of Illinois Extension: Watch Your Garden Grow: Eggplant
  • N.C. State University Horticulture Information Leaflet: Eggplant
Keywords: planting eggplants, eggplant planting instructions, planting vegetables

About this Author

Karen Carter has spent the last three years working as a technology specialist in the public school system. This position included hardware/software installation, customer support, and writing training manuals. She also spent four years as a newspaper editor/reporter at the Willapa Harbor Herald.