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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.