Eggplant is a highly diverse crop widely cultivated around the globe. While eggplant generally grows best in dependably warm and settled weather, some can also be grown in less favorable conditions.
Detailed Care Instructions
CULTURE: Eggplants require fertile, sandier, slightly acidic soil. When ready to transplant outdoors, do so in late spring or early summer once the weather has thoroughly settled. Eggplants are tender, and cold weather may weaken them. Use row covers for a boost in performance and insect control. Remove when plants reach the covers or when blossoms first appear.
Space transplants 18" apart in rows 30-36" apart, or 2 rows on plastic mulch, 18-24" between plants. It is important to be mindful of over-fertility. One sign that you might have over-fertilized is if you see large, bushy plants that produce only one small set of fruit.
STAKING: Eggplants may be pruned and staked to keep the fruits straight.
DISEASE: Practice lengthy crop rotation to avoid Verticillium wilt. We recommend that you don't plant any nightshades in the same location for 4-5 years.
INSECT PESTS: Fabric row covers are the recommended method of control for flea beetles and Colorado potato beetles (CPB) for newly-set transplants. Once covers are removed, regularly check undersides of leaves and crush any orange egg masses of the CPB.
HARVEST: Clip fruit stem with shears. Pick fruits of desired size regularly to encourage further production.
Adapted from Johnny's Selected Seeds.