Eggplant

Eggplant

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Beautiful big plants for a decorative container in the sunshine, eggplants are as diverse as the cultures that cook with them – and quite easy to grow. Eggplants are a good companion for amaranth, beans, marigolds, peas, peppers, spinach, and thyme. 

 

Soil should have abundant phosphorus and calcium, so add lime and compost to the soil three weeks prior to transplanting. Mix ¼-½ cup of complete organic fertilizer into the soil beneath each transplant. Using a clear plastic cloche or floating row cover helps growth by increasing heat. Cool temperatures increase leafy growth, but delay fruit set. Once most eggplants get going in the summer, they are highly productive right up until the first frosts.

Pinch off blossoms 2 to 4 weeks before first expected frost so that plants focus on ripening any existing fruit, not producing new ones. Harvest the fruit anytime after the fruit reaches half of their size. Harvesting early prevents fruit from becoming too seedy, and will encourage more production from the plants.

Do not pull the fruit off the plant, but cut it with scissors or secateurs, being careful to avoid any sharp spurs at the stem end.

Eggplant