In India and the Mediterranean, eggplant is grown as a meat substitute. Sliced eggplant can be battered and fried, baked or barbecued. The plants require warm weather with night temperatures above 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Eggplant does well in a soil with a pH level of 5.5 to 6.5. The fruit should not be allowed to over-ripen on the plant as it will become bitter as the seeds mature.
Plant the seedlings when all danger of frost has past, spacing the plants three feet apart.
Protect the plant if the nights turn cold. One way to do this is to set an inverted clay pot over each plant during the night.
Water the plants once or twice a week. Do not let the soil dry out completely. If there has been no rain during the week, give the plants a thorough soaking.
Fertilize the plants every three weeks, scattering one-quarter cup of fertilizer around each plant.
Limit the number of fruit on each bush to six. Pinch off the extra tip shoots and blossoms.
Harvest before the fruits are fully mature. They should be dark purple, shiny and about six inches long. Wear gloves as the plant can be prickly, and use gardening shears to cut the fruit from the stem.