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EGGPLANT


  How To Grow Eggplant


PLANT TYPE: Annual
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Solanum melongena var. esculentum
LIGHT: Full Sun
SOIL TYPE: Rich, well-drained, high organic matter
pH RANGE: 5.5 - 6.8
MOISTURE/WATERING: Keep moist, not waterlogged
MATURITY IN DAYS: 60 - 70
KNOWN PESTS: Colorado potato beetles
KNOWN DISEASES: N/A



OVERVIEW:

Eggplant is a member of the Solanaceae family which includes tomatoes, peppers, ground cherries and potatoes. Eggplant is very sensitive to cold weather and should be started indoors long before planting in the garden. Eggplant require a long warm season for best yields.

Eggplant should be planted in full sun and requires ample water and fertile soil with lots of organic matter. Eggplants are easily injured by frost and will not do well with long periods of cool weather. Eggplants are like tomatoes, except that eggplants like warmer conditions.


PROPAGATION / SOWING OF EGGPLANT:

Eggplant seeds must be started indoors 8-10 weeks prior to last frost. Sow seeds ¼” deep and provide a soil temperature of 24-27°C (75-80°F). Even moisture is essential while the eggplant seed is germinating. Germination is slow (up to 2 weeks). Gradually harden off seedlings, but do not allow temperature to go below 15°C (60°F). Transplant 18” apart in beds or rows 20-30” apart.


COMPANION PLANTING OF EGGPLANT:

Bush bean, pea, pepper, potato


CARE & GROWING OF EGGPLANT:

Heat loving eggplant require a full sun and sheltered area. Black paper or plastic mulch will help draw heat to the soil and encourage an early maturity. It will also help to conserve moisture and keep weeds down. Eggplants are moderate feeders and do well in very fertile soil with a pH level of 5.5 to 6.8. Apply compost and well rotted manure along with bonemeal.


HARVESTING OF EGGPLANT:

Harvest eggplant anytime after the fruit reaches half of their size. Harvesting eggplant early prevents fruit from becoming too seedy and will encourage more production and eggplant yield.


EGGPLANT PESTS & DISEASES:

Colorado potato beetles love eggplant, even more so than potatoes and they can cause serious damage to this eggplants. Rotenone dust and/or hand picking insects and egg masses (orange masses on the under sides of the leaves) will keep damage to eggplants to a minimum.












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Eggplant are troubled by the same pests as tomatoes and potatoes. To avoid problems, do not grow on the same ground where those plants have been grown in the previous two years.






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