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When Do I Pick Japanese Eggplant?

Japanese eggplant is a thinner version of the typical dark purple eggplant seen in U.S. supermarkets. Its color is also much lighter. While its overall culture requirements are the same as the rounder eggplant, you can’t tell if Japanese eggplant is ready to harvest by looking at its size.

Timing

Start inspecting eggplant two to three months after you’ve transplanted the seedling into your garden. Clemson University Cooperative Extension says if you planted from seed, start checking after five to six months have passed. Japanese eggplant should have glossy skin without any hints of brown, and you should be able to leave a slight mark if you press down on the skin.

Use Quickly

Japanese eggplant is more perishable than other types, so pick it when you know you’ll use it within a week. Give away extra eggplant or freeze it for future use. PickYourOwn.org says to blanch clean, peeled, sliced eggplant in water and lemon juice before placing it in the freezer.

  • Japanese eggplant is a thinner version of the typical dark purple eggplant seen in U.S. supermarkets.
  • While its overall culture requirements are the same as the rounder eggplant, you can’t tell if Japanese eggplant is ready to harvest by looking at its size.

Regular Sweeps

Check your plants once or twice a week to remove newly ready eggplant. Not only does this ensure you find them before they become overripe, but removing the ripe ones frees up nutritional resources within the plant for the remaining immature eggplant.

Secrets To Growing Japanese Eggplant

The larger a Japanese eggplant bush, and the more branches it has, the more fruit the plant will produce. Japanese eggplant plants are hungry bushes. Constant soil fertilization helps support fast growth and optimal eggplant fruit production while helping the plant fight off stress and disease. At the time of planting, spread 3 pounds of standard 5-10-10 garden fertilizer for every 100 square feet of garden soil. The eggplant bush should get followup fertilization twice more, once when the first eggplant fruit measures the size of a quarter and a second time three weeks after that. Avoid traditional nitrogen-based fertilizer, as this encourages the Japanese eggplant bush to produce more leaves at the expense of fruit. Mulching helps Japanese eggplant for several reasons. If mature fruit are left on the Japanese eggplant bush, the plant will slow down its fruit production. This results in an overall smaller fruit harvest.

  • Check your plants once or twice a week to remove newly ready eggplant.
  • Not only does this ensure you find them before they become overripe, but removing the ripe ones frees up nutritional resources within the plant for the remaining immature eggplant.

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