Eggplants are beautiful plants that are a cornerstone of edible landscaping and excellent for container gardening. Even better, they’re delicious, and there are practically limitless ways to organize them. they will be a touch finicky to grow in some regions, as they require much heat and sunshine. But don’t let that discourage you! With touch planning, anyone can grow these wonderful veggies. Selecting Your Varieties Many color shapes and sizes. There are two categories of eggplants to pick from. Italians are the classic eggplant, and lots of heirlooms are available in purple, magenta, white, striped, and miniature. While all eggplants are originally from Asia, the Italian varieties are bred in southern Europe for hundreds of years. The “new” eggplant on the garden scene is that the much older Asian eggplant; these are long and narrow, and are available during a sort of color including white, purple, magenta and green. When selecting the simplest variety for your garden, consider the variety’s flavor profile and disease resistance, then once you’ve narrowed it down, accompany your favorite color! If you’ll be growing your eggplants during a container, select varieties that are best fitted to this, like Shooting Stars and tiny Prince. Planting Your Seeds Eggplants should be started indoors a minimum of 4 to six weeks before the last frost; some gardeners plant their eggplants the maximum amount as 10 weeks early to offer their transplants a robust start within the garden. they are doing not tolerate cold temperatures, and may only be sown directly outdoors in warm areas that don’t experience spring frosts and where the soil temperature is above 60F. Plant your seeds 1/4 inch deep in small pots employing a seed-starting mix like Quick root. Water frequently with a precipitation nozzle: eggplants don’t tolerate drying out. Seeds started indoors should be grown under a robust light and kept at 80 to 85F. Eggplant seeds grow best when kept warm on a heat mat. Moving Eggplants Outdoors Eggplants are warm-season vegetables. they ought to be hardened off and planted outdoors at an equivalent time as tomatoes, to which they’re related. The soil temperature should be 60F, with no risk of frost. If a chilly snap is within the forecast after you progress your eggplants outdoors, you’ll get to protect them from the coolness. Select a site where you’ve got not grown eggplants, tomatoes, tomatillos or potatoes for a minimum of two years. Your garden should have fertile soil with balanced nutrients, and a pH of 5.8 to 6.8. Eggplants require tons of calcium; deficiencies can cause problems like blossom end rot. Good supplements of calcium include Calcium 25, oyster shell lime, and limestone. Eggplants prefer full sun; plants grown in partial shade might not fruit at peak levels. For the simplest fruit production, the plants need a minimum of two months of nighttime temperatures of 70F. Space your transplants 18 to 24 inches apart in rows that are 30 to 36 inches apart. Summer Success within the Garden Eggplants are water-loving plants and need regular irrigation to supply healthy plants with good-sized fruits. However, they are doing not like soggy, waterlogged soil, which promotes diseases. Deep watering a couple of times every week may be a great way to encourage strong root development and fruit set. Harvesting Eggplant. Mulch around your plants to assist conserve the water you give them, either with plastic mulch or with natural mulch like cocoa hulls. Mulching is additionally helpful to stop weeds. As your eggplants mature, you’ll get to stake them in order that the heavy fruits don’t steer the plants and break their branches. you’ll create a bushier plant with more fruit-bearing stems by pinching off the ideas of young eggplant stems. await problems together with your eggplants throughout the season. Eggplants are often suffering from a spread of pests like aphids and tomato horn worms, and diseases like mildew and Verticillium wilt. From Plant to Plate Your eggplant fruits should be able to harvest 80 to 90 days after planting the seeds. When harvesting, cut the fruit from the plant with garden snips about an in. faraway from the fruit, as pulling it can damage the plant. Eggplants have the simplest flavor once they are young before the seeds start to make. Don’t leave your fruits on the plant too long, or the fruit can become tough and bitter. Although it’s tempting to allow them to continue to grow bigger, the simplest time to reap is when the fruits are over half their mature size and their skin is shiny. Over-ripe fruits have dull skin. Picking the fruits early also encourages the plant to supply more fruit. Eat your eggplants as soon as possible after harvest for the simplest flavor and texture. Asian eggplants are typically thin-skinned and don’t require peeling like Italian eggplants. Eggplants don’t store well without preservation and will be eaten within a couple of days of harvest. For immediate eating, they will be baked, grilled, roasted, stuffed or mashed. they will be preserved for storage by drying, pickling, or freezing. Get your eggplants planted now, and shortly you’ll be enjoying your harvest in homemade baba ganoush, moussaka, and eggplant Parmesan!