How To Grow Japanese Eggplants

Overview

Japanese eggplants differ from standard eggplant varieties in length (they are longer) and width (they are thinner). They also have a more delicate, thin skin and fewer seeds, which impart a less bitter flavor when compared to other varieties. Growing Japanese eggplants in the garden is little different from growing other varieties. But they are better suited to being raised in containers, as the plants are compact and not as prone to sprawling as other varieties.

Step 1

Fill individual seed pots with potting mix four weeks before the last expected spring frost in your area. Water the potting mix until it is moist.

Step 2

Sow two seeds per pot, planting them at a ¼-inch depth. Cover the pot in plastic wrap and leave it in a warm room (70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit) to germinate.

Step 3

Remove the plastic wrap and move the pots to a sunny window in a warm room once eggplants germinate---approximately seven to 14 days after sowing. Water as needed to keep the soil moist but not soggy.

Step 4

Prepare a well-drained, full-sun garden bed once frost danger is past and daytime temperatures are above 70 F. Lay a 2- to 3-inch layer of compost over the entire bed and till it in to improve drainage and soil quality prior to planting.

Step 5

Plant eggplants in the garden bed, at the same depth as the soil in their seed pots. Space plants 2 feet apart in rows 3 feet apart.

Step 6

Water weekly, providing 1 to 2 inches of water per plant per week. Lay a 3-inch layer of straw or bark mulch over the garden beds to preserve moisture and prevent weed growth.

Step 7

Fertilize one month after transplanting with a balanced, 10-10-10 analysis fertilizer. Apply 1 pound of fertilizer every 100 square feet of bed, working the fertilizer into the soil 6 inches from the base of each plant.

Tips and Warnings

  • Cover plants after they are transplanted outside with a row cover or other protective sheet if a late-season frost is predicted.

Things You'll Need

  • Seed pots
  • Potting mix
  • Plastic wrap
  • Compost
  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer

References

  • Virginia Cooperative Extension: Potatoes, Peppers and Eggplant
  • University of Arizona Cooperative Extension: The Elegant Eggplant
Keywords: growing Japanese eggplant, planting eggplant seeds, vegetable garden

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.