How to Raise Eggplant

Overview

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.

Step 1

Plant the seedlings when all danger of frost has past, spacing the plants three feet apart.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

Fertilize the plants every three weeks, scattering one-quarter cup of fertilizer around each plant.

Step 5

Limit the number of fruit on each bush to six. Pinch off the extra tip shoots and blossoms.

Step 6

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.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not plant on the same site where tomatoes or potatoes have grown within the last three years.

Things You'll Need

  • Clay pots
  • 5-10-5 fertilizer
  • Gardening shear
  • Gardening gloves

References

  • "Vegetable and Fruits"; James Crockett; 1972
  • "Vegetable Gardening"; Editors of Sunset Books; 1975
Keywords: raising eggplant, growing eggplant, harvesting eggplant

About this Author

Ann Johnson was the editor of a community magazine in Southern California for more than 10 years and was an active real estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelors of Art degree in communications from California State University of Fullerton. Today she is a freelance writer and photographer, and part owner of an Arizona real estate company.