Deprecated: The called constructor method for WP_Widget in VMenuWidget is deprecated since version 4.3.0! Use __construct() instead. in /home/northern/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 4954

Deprecated: The called constructor method for WP_Widget in LoginWidget is deprecated since version 4.3.0! Use __construct() instead. in /home/northern/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 4954
Eggplant | Northern Gardener

Eggplant (Solanum melongena)

Eggplant are perennial plants that are cultivated as annuals in colder climates. They are members of the Tomato family. Eggplant produce very attractive purple (or white) flowers.

They have a complex flavour when eaten on their own, and they readily absorb the flavours of whatever they are cooked with.

They are tough to grow in northern climates, especially if they are grown outdoors. This often results in a small crop of golf ball sized fruit. Your best bet is to try growing them in containers (or beds) inside of a greenhouse.

1: Physical Features
Physical Features: Small bush
Height: 60 - 70cm (24 - 28")
Spread: 45 - 60cm (18 - 24")
Varieties: Black Beauty, Black Enorma, Long Purple, Moneymaker, Fairy Tale
2: General Info
Usage: Grown for the fruit.
3: Sowing / Starting
Sowing: In cooler climates, sewing directly in the ground is not recommended.
Starting Indoors: You will obtain your best results if you start your seeds indoors 10-12 weeks before the last frost date. Soaking the seeds helps with germination.
Outdoor Site & Soil Preparation: Sunny location is best. Well drained fertile soil is best.
Recommended PH Range: 5.5 - 7.0
Recommended Spacing in Beds: 60cm (24")
Good Companions: Beans, Potatoes, Thyme, Peas
Growing in Containers: Eggplants are exceptionally hard to grow in Northern climates. They do much better in containers containing a good potting mix. They will do much better if that pot can be kept in a greenhouse. A 9 - 12 inch container is sufficient.
4: Cultivation
Fertilization: Eggplant have nutritional requirements that are similar to Tomatoes. Any good quality water soluble Tomato fertilizer should work well. Feed weekly once you see fruit forming.
Harvesting: Cut fruit from stems as they grow to a reasonable size. Eggplant taste best if harvested by the time they are 12 - 15 cm (5 - 6") in length. If your summer is short, you might try cutting them while they are even smaller.
Preservation & Storage : Traditionally eaten fresh. They can be preserved for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
5: Pests & Diseases
Common Pests: Aphids, Caterpillars,Mealy Bugs, Spider Mites, Thrips, Whitefly can cause problems.
Diseases: Powdery & downey mildew, Verticillium wilt, Botrytis.
Other Issues & Problems:
6: Harvesting, Usage & Storage
Harvesting: Cut fruit from stems as they grow to a reasonable size. Eggplant taste best if harvested by the time they are 12 - 15 cm (5 - 6") in length. If your summer is short, you might try cutting them while they are even smaller.
Preservation and Storage: Traditionally eaten fresh. They can be preserved for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Freezing: Eggplant can be frozen in cubes provided they are blanched for 4 minutes prior to freezing.