The Japanese eggplant differs from a traditional eggplant in shape and texture. Instead of being globe-shaped, the Japanese eggplant is long and cylindrical. The fruit has a slightly more delicate flavor and the skin is much thinner than found on a globe eggplant. Like standard eggplant, Japanese eggplants prefer hot weather and full sun during the growing season.
Start Japanese eggplants indoors approximately eight to nine weeks before transplanting in the garden. To start the seeds, thoroughly water peat pots filled with potting soil until the pots and soil are completely moist to the touch.
Place two to three Japanese eggplant seeds in each pot. Cover the seeds with 1/8 to 1/4 inches of dry potting soil.
Place a sheet of plastic wrap loosely over the peat pots and place the pots in a warm area. Remove the plastic wrap from the pots when you see the first seedlings emerge from the soil. Move the seedlings to a warm, sunny area.
Transplant the seedlings to the garden when the soil temperature reaches 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Space plants 18 inches apart in the row and if planting more than one row, space rows 30 inches apart.
Harvest the fruit at approximately 2/3 the full stated size on the seed package. Japanese eggplant grow to around 6 to 9 inches, so should be harvested when 4 to 6 inches long. This will encourage more fruit production on the plant.