Many pasta dishes use eggplant.
image by Robyn Gallagher: flickr.com
Eggplant can be used to make many dishes through the growing season. Homegrown eggplant is an excellent alternative to chicken in Parmesan dishes. It also is used in many pasta dishes such as lasagna. It is not only easy to cook with but is nutritious, as well. Eggplants contain an antioxidant called nasunin that help to protect cells from damage. They are also a good source of thiamine, potassium, manganese and dietary fiber. Adding eggplant to your garden takes preparation and patience. Here's how to plant your own beneficial eggplants.
Add soil to your starter trays so that each section is filled. Start you plants after the last frost in the spring.
Press two eggplant seeds 1/2 inch into the soil of each section of the tray.
Cover the seed holes with soil and give each planter enough water to dampen the soil.
Place the starter plants in a sunny location. Water the plants each day so the soil does not dry out.
Select a location in your garden where you want to place the eggplants after four to six weeks of starting them indoors. Use your shovel to dig holes that are about 1/2 foot deep. Space the holes so that they are 18 inches apart and in rows 30 inches apart.
Press the bottom of each tray to release and take out the eggplants. Divide each root ball in two to separate the plants. Place each separated section of the root ball into a separate hole.
Push the dirt over the roots of each plant so that they are completely covered. Form a mound of dirt around the base of the plants.
Add general purpose fertilizer around each eggplant seedling and repeat application every three to four weeks.
Spread mulch around the plants, and water immediately after transplanting. Repeat watering each day so that the soil is always moist.
Weed around your plant frequently so that the eggplants don't get overcrowded. Add nitrogen to the soil mid-way through the growing season or midsummer.