You’ll get the best harvest all year long if you understand the distinct stages of eggplant growth in your gardens, greenhouses, and farms. Seed planting, germination, sprouting, seeing, planting, flowering, fruit planting and more are all phases in the life cycle of a plant.
What Are The Eggplant Growing Stages
Gardening with eggplants is a wonderful experience. They are members of the Solanaceae family, which is widely cultivated for its tasty fruits. Purple is a common color in the kitchen, and it’s utilized in a wide range of dishes. As a botanical, eggplants are typically used in the kitchen.
Below are the steps that eggplants go through when they are planted, grown, and harvested.
A week or two after the seeds are sown in warm soil, these eggplant seeds begin to sprout. It can take up to ten weeks before the seedlings are ready to be transplanted from the time they germinate.
When the seedlings have four to six leaves, you can assume they are strong enough to be transferred. Because cooler temperatures can kill the seeds, it is important to keep them at 65 degrees Fahrenheit or 18 degrees Celsius before transplanting them into greenhouse farms.
a period of one hundred and twenty days. Depending on the variety or type, these are the days needed for eggplants to achieve maturity. After maturing, they form a central stem from which several limbs sprout. Oval-shaped leaves with a leathery texture characterize these stems as they grow larger.
Quite a few leaves have spines or hairs, which is unusual. It is necessary to stake these crops, which can reach heights of up to four feet, so that the fruits do not drag them toward the ground.
Flowers And Fruits
Purple and star-shaped blossoms appear as these eggplants reach their full maturity stage. Self-pollinating flowers that have both male and female parts. The female half of the eggplant flower then gives rise to the fruit.
Then there are the fruits of your labor. It is possible to find eggplants that are striped, purple, or white, depending on the variety. In many cases, the fruits of these eggplants can grow up to 10 inches long when they are fully grown. Eggplants can be grown for up to 80 days and produce fruit.
It’s time to harvest your eggplants now that you’ve finished your growing process. Where does this go? Once the fruit begins to ripen, you can take advantage of the greatest flavor by harvesting them as soon as possible.
How do you know when the eggplants are ready to pick? When the skin is shiny and the texture is firm, they are achievable. You can wait until the fruits are large enough and their drab skin feels softer to the touch before gathering the seeds for planting.
How Long Does It Take To Grow An Eggplant?
When it comes to these stages of eggplant growth, you’ve learned about time spans from the preceding chapters. This section of the site, on the other hand, will teach you more about how long it takes to cultivate eggplants.
If you choose a faster-maturing variety and cultivate it in the optimal conditions, your eggplants will be fresher and more flavorful in a matter of days instead of months. You can get your hands on fresh, locally sourced eggplants right now.
They take longer to mature when grown from seed, and will not flourish in colder climates. If you want to raise them from seed, you’ll need to do so in a greenhouse. The average last icing date in your area is about ten weeks away.
As a first step, gardeners can purchase these from their local garden center, but they must wait until the last icing date to do so. A more compact and thick growth should be preferred. Avoid buying plants that already have blooms to avoid hastening the process. Because they have been transplanted, these eggplants may grow more slowly, resulting in a smaller crop at the end of the season.
Now, if you plan to grow them in colder areas, you’ll need to make some modifications. If you want to speed up the growth of these plants, you can use black plastic mulch to enhance the soil temperature.
To avoid damage from a late frost, be sure to cover the eggplants with row covers and hot caps. Individual plant covers made of plastic or paper catch the warmth of the sun and expedite the growth process.
How Many Eggplants Do You Get Per Plant?
In the case of typical eggplants, four to six large-rounded fruits can be harvested from each plant.
Step-by-step instructions on how to successfully grow these eggplants may be found here.
- Nine weeks before the end of the spring season’s frosting, begin indoor seedling germination. At 90 degrees Fahrenheit, these seeds germinate more quickly. However, you can buy nursery plants that are six to eight weeks old before beginning the stages.
- Make a decision on where to plant. To get the finest results, you should go to a sunny location. Eggplants thrive on soils with a pH range of 5.8 to 6.5 for optimal growth.
- They simply need a small bit of soil fertilizer. A week before planting, you can add an inch or so of these compounds to the soil.
- Stake these plants shortly after planting, about two inches from the plant’s base, to provide support as they develop. Row covers may be an option if you live in a cooler climate zone and want to protect your eggplants from the elements. Specify regions where these bees can forage. In addition, mulch layers can be used to retain water and reduce weeds, as well.
Planting, Growing, and Harvesting Eggplants
Known as aubergines or brinjals, eggplants are typically harvested in the middle to the end of the summer. The easiest way to eat an eggplant is to pick it right out of the vine. We adore grilling these beautiful deep purple vegetables, so learn more about how to cultivate and harvest them.
Eggplants (Solanum melongena) are perennials in South Asia, although they are handled as annuals in North America by most gardeners. Eggplants, like tomatoes and peppers, demand high temperatures because of their tropical and subtropical origins (which, like eggplants, are in the Nightshade family). Between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (21 and 30 degrees Celsius), they grow at their fastest rate.
Eggplants, like tomatoes and peppers, grow on vines that can reach several feet in height.
Buying 6- to 8-week-old transplants (or starting them indoors about two months in advance) is the most common way to get a head start on eggplants because they require warm soil. As the earth warms up more quickly, raised beds filled with composted manure are great for growing eggplants. Eggplants can also be used as decorative borders and containers. Ornamental eggplants, which have gorgeous variegated patterns on their inedible fruit, are actually rather common these days.
It is true that eggplant fruits are usually a deep purple color, but this is not always the case. They can be any color from white to pink to black to green to white to purple. You can buy gourd-shaped eggplants in supermarkets, as well as slender Japanese eggplants. Their size and shape also varies.
- For optimal results, place your eggplant plant in full sun (6 to 8 hours of direct sunshine daily).
- Eggplant thrives on a sandy loam or loam soil with a moderate amount of organic materials that drains properly. Before planting, add 1 inch of compost, manure, or a basic fertilizer like 5-10-5 to the planting bed to boost soil fertility. It is recommended that you use 2 to 3 pounds per 100 square feet. Row spacing of 4 feet requires 114 pounds of 5-10-5 for every 10 feet of row.)
- If you want the greatest results, you should keep the pH of your soil between 5.8 and 6.
- Growing eggplant in raised beds is the best option because the earth warms up more rapidly.
- Using a dark-colored container for growing eggplants in pots will allow them to absorb more sunlight. Put one plant in a 5-gallon (or bigger) pot outside in direct sunlight so that it can be pollinated by bees and other insects. You can avoid disease by using a high-quality potting mix.
When to Plant Eggplant
- Six to eight weeks before the latest spring frost date, start seedlings indoors in flats or peat pots. At temperatures ranging from 21°C to 32°C, seeds germinate swiftly. Alternatively, right before planting, purchase 6- to 8-week-old nursery transplants.
- Wait until the latest frost warning before planting eggplants in the garden.
- Choose high-quality transplants if you’re going to do so. No tall, spindly plants should be purchased. Neither should newly-planted seeds or seedlings that already have flowers on them.
How to Plant Eggplant
- In flats or peat pots, start seeds by sowing them 1/4 of an inch deep.
- Set seedlings in holes 24 to 30 inches apart in rows 3 feet apart after the threat of the last spring frost has gone and daytime temperatures are 70° to 75°F (60° to 65°F at night). If the soil temperature isn’t high enough for transplanting, cover the soil with black plastic mulch.
- Stagger 24-inch-high stakes 1 to 2 inches from each plant (in the ground or a pot) or use cages to keep the soil or roots from being disturbed later. When overburdened with fruit, eggplants will topple down.
- Soak the seeds in plenty of water just after they’ve been planted. A layer of mulch will help keep the soil moist and prevent weeds from taking root.
- Use row covers if you live in a frigid area to protect the young eggplants from the elements. In order to allow bees to pollinate the eggplant blooms, open the row coverings’ ends on warm days.
- Once the fruit is inside, the eggplant will topple over. Tall plants should be staked or caged to maintain their erect position. You should stake the stems before the fruit appears if you’re growing eggplant in a container.
- Soil should be moistened to a depth of 6 inches or more, but not wet. The best way to water your plants is with a soaker hose or drip irrigation system buried in the ground.
- Fruit set and development are the most important times to keep the fruit moist. Inconsistent or inadequate watering is the primary cause of oddly shaped eggplants.
- Mulching can help to maintain consistent moisture, conserve water, and minimize the number of weeds in a garden.
- Note: Excessive vegetative growth can occur if nitrogen levels are too high. Apply fertilizer to the side of the row if you are using plastic mulch or drip irrigation.
- Pinching off the additional blossoms will result in larger fruits, so limit yourself to five or six per plant.
- The terminal growth points, the core spots on a plant from which new shoots and leaves grow, should be pounded out for a more dense plant. Look for the newest and tiniest leaves in the middle of the plant, then pinch out the bud that is forming.
- It is possible for eggplants to fail to produce fruit if the temperature drops below 55°F/13°C at night or rises over 95°F/35°C on a day. On cold nights, protect your plants by covering them with a blanket, and on hot, bright days, shield them from the sun by using a beach umbrella. Cold also inhibits ripening.
Eggplant Pests and Diseases
Other Common Eggplant Problems
- Temperatures that are too low can cause eggplant blossoms to fall off or fruit to fail to form, and this is the most common cause.
- It’s probably too cold if the fruits are little and not growing. Eggplants enjoy it when it’s hot! During the day, temperatures should be between 80 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and at night they should not fall below 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on the variety, you may need to replant at a later date.
- Because of low or uneven watering, strangely shaped eggplants are the consequence.
SUGGESTIONS FOR CHOICE:
Egg-shaped, glossy, purple-black fruits are the hallmark of the typical eggplant variety.
- An eggplant known as a “Black Beauty” is the most common size. Fruits range in size from 4 to 6 inches in diameter and are produced by a single plant. Black Magic, Purple Rain, and Early Bird are also common varieties.
- Characteristic 6-inch purple/black fruit from ‘Black Bell,’ with classic oval to round shape; disease-resistant
- Intense purple/black fruit with a traditional pear form and a diameter of 6 to 7 inches, ‘Dusky’ has a delicious flavor and is disease-resistant.
Other types of eggplant that are worth mentioning are:
- It is a 5- to 6-inch-long, fragile pale green fruit that is called “Applegreen.”
- “Bambino”: oval, walnut-sized, purple/black fruits; 1 1/2-foot-tall plants
- Mushroom-flavoured ‘Casper’: 6-inch, snow-white, cylindrical fruit;
- ‘Cloud Nine’ is a 7-inch, teardrop-shaped, disease-resistant white fruit.
- “Kermit” is a Thai variety of fruit that is spherical and 2-inches in diameter; it has a white-striped shoulder and is green.
- ‘Rosita,’ a 6- to 8-inch pear with a rose-pink fruit and a sweet flavor, is the most popular variety.
The skin of the long, thin Japanese eggplant is thinner, and the flavor is more delicate.
- It bears till the first frost and has a 10- to 12-inch thin purple/black fruit known as “Ichiban.” One plant can produce up to a dozen berries.
- ‘Little Fingers’: purple/black fruit the size of a finger; excellent for containers. It’s common for small-fruited cultivars to be particularly prolific.
Although ornamental variants can be eaten, the quality of the food is low.
- A white eggplant known as a “Easter Egg” is a type of ornamental eggplant that can be grown for decoration. (Not edible.)
- In general, it takes 65 to 80 days after transplanting for eggplant to be ready to pick. The time it takes for a seed to mature might range anywhere from 100 to 120 days when beginning from scratch. Depending on where you reside and the type of eggplant you grew, you may be able to harvest eggplants throughout October.
- Harvesting should not be delayed for an extended period of time. The easiest way to eat an eggplant is to pick it right out of the vine. The plant’s energy will then be diverted to growing fresh fruit. Early and frequent harvesting will result in a large crop. When you’re ready, check in on your eggplants every two to three days.
- In order to determine when to harvest, you can use your finger to gently press on the skin of a ripe fruit. Some fruits taste unpleasant when plucked too early or too late; this is why harvesting is a bit of an art form. The fruit’s skin should be shiny, wrinkle-free, and a uniform shade of red. When the eggplant is cut open, the seeds should be tender yet well-formed. The fruit will taste harsh if the peel is faded and the seeds are black and firm.
- When the eggplant is the size of a finger or a hot dog, it’s time to harvest it.
- The fruit won’t come off if you try to pull it. Using a sharp knife (the stem is sturdy), snip off the fruit above the green cap (calyx) on the top, keeping approximately an inch of the stem intact. Gloves are recommended since the calyx can be stingy.
- If your growing season allows for a second harvest, you can treat these plants like peppers and trim them down to the ground.
How to Store Eggplant
- Eggplants can be kept for up to two weeks in a humid environment with a temperature no lower than 10 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees Celsius).
- They can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days.
- Avoid harming the skin by not washing or cutting it ahead of time. Exposed skin will quickly expire.
- Use a marinate of salt, vinegar, and/or lemon juice to prevent discoloration of eggplant after it has been cut open for cooking or grilling.
- A black dye was popular among women in the past for making their teeth appear gunmetal gray. The dark purple eggplant used to make the dye is possibly the same one that is currently on the market.
- When cutting an eggplant, use a stainless steel knife (not carbon steel) to avoid discoloring the flesh.
- Small, white types of eggplant were the only ones available at first. The fruit was shaped like an egg while it was hanging from the bushes.
NOTES FOR THE COOK
- Grilled, roasted, breaded, fried, or baked, eggplant is delicious in any form. In terms of cooking, the ‘Ichibans’ (thinner types) are better for grilling and roasting, while the ‘Black Beauty’ (traditional kinds) are excellent breaded or deep-fried.
- When cutting eggplant, use a stainless steel knife (not a steel one) to prevent it from discoloring.
- The skin of your eggplant may be too difficult to consume if it is too large. Either bake the eggplant and scoop out the flesh afterward, or peel it first. Once you’ve pierced the skin a few times, you may bake the eggplant.
- To make an eggplant less bitter, many Italians tenderize it. Slice, salt, and let it sit for about 30 minutes before serving.
5 Tips for Growing Excellent Eggplant
1. Try growing small-fruited eggplant varieties
In the same way that small cherry tomatoes are simpler to cultivate than large ones, small eggplant cultivars are the most reliable in the garden. If you like shorter fruits, try ‘Millionaire,’ ‘Bonica,’ or another oval-shaped eggplant variety from Asia, such as ‘Ping Tung Long.
It’s a lot of fun to cultivate small plants in containers or square foot gardens like ‘Morden Midget’, the European favorite known as ‘Pot Black,’ or the 2014 All America Selections Award winner ‘Patio Baby.’ As the growing season unfolds, these bushy eggplant cultivars create several secondary branches, giving them a long-lasting presence in the garden.
2. Start seeds late
Eggplant seeds should never be sown in haste because the plants thrive in warm climates. Unlike tomatoes or peppers, which grow slowly, eggplant seedlings grow swiftly. You can start seeds for a fall crop in the middle of summer if you have a lengthy, warm growing season and adopt a split season planting strategy. During a period of cloudy weather, plant the seedlings.
3. Anticipate eggplant flea beetles
If it weren’t for eggplant flea bugs, growing eggplant would be a cinch. Insects of the nightshade family, including potatoes, tomatoes, and wild hosts like horse nettle and jimsonweed, are the primary food source for these microscopic hoppers, but it’s eggplant that they seem to prefer.
In order to avoid flea beetle infestations, the first technique I ever learnt was to grow the plants as long as possible on a high table, in dark colored nursery pots. As a result, container-grown eggplant flea beetles are less likely to attack them since they avoid decks and patios, and the dark containers keep their roots warm on bright days. Set them out when the roots of a 4-inch (10cm) pot fill the pot and the plants are rather stocky.
Unlike most vegetables, eggplant’s roots don’t mind a bit of heat, so they can thrive in large containers as long as they get plenty of water.
Flea beetle damage to young plants can be overcome by using row coverings made of tulle (wedding net), which keeps out most insects but does not retain heat. Young plants can be protected with row covers made of tulle (wedding net). Remove the coverings while the plants are in full bloom so that bees can get to the nectar. Install stakes now to prevent the plants from toppling over as they get overburdened with fruit.
4. Invite native pollinators
Wind can fertilize self-fertile eggplant blooms, but bee buzz-pollination increases fruit set and size. Solitary bees, such as carpenter bees, bumblebees, and little sweat bees, are some of the best pollinators because they shake pollen off flowers by vibrating them. Hand pollination is an option if pollinators aren’t around or you only have a few plants. Simply dab a dry artist’s paintbrush into the open blossoms to do this task. Alternatively, use a vibrating toothbrush to simulate a bee visit by brushing against the rear of the flowers.
5. Provide timely feedings
Six weeks after planting, the plants begin to flower and produce their first fruits. With organic fertilizer or composted manure, you may either side-dress the plants or give them a deep watering with a water-soluble plant food. Later in the summer, when they’re loaded with ripe fruit, re-fertilize.
It is important to keep an eye out for excessive salt buildup in container-grown eggplants, as this might cause the plants to cease growing. Approximately every two weeks, flush the containers with fresh water to remove salts that have built up. Organic fertilizers based on fish or kelp are less likely to leave behind salts than most synthetic fertilizers.
How long does eggplant take to grow?
In general, it takes 65 to 80 days after transplanting for eggplant to be ready to pick. When starting from seed, it will take between 100 and 120 days to reach maturity. Eggplant can be harvested in July, August, September, or even October, depending on your location and the variety you planted. Harvesting should not be delayed for an extended period of time.
What are the stages of eggplant development?
100 to 150 days from seed and 70 to 85 days from transplants are required for harvesting. Prevent pithy eggplant by harvesting it as soon as possible. To determine when an eggplant is ready to harvest, examine its fruit. Eggplants without seeds are underdeveloped. Overripe fruits are those with black, firm seeds.
Do eggplants grow slowly?
Eggplant seedlings develop more quickly than tomatoes or peppers because of their large leaves. You can start seeds for a fall crop in the middle of summer if you have a lengthy, warm growing season and adopt a split season planting strategy.
How long do eggplants live for?
How long does it take an eggplant to rot? If stored properly, eggplant can last for up to three weeks. When and how eggplants are harvested and stored affects their shelf life. Since most people consume eggplants as a vegetable rather than a fruit, we include them under the vegetable section.
How often should I water my eggplant plant?
Watering. Also, make sure to give your eggplant at least an inch of water per week when watering it. Because frequent watering encourages shallow roots, it’s better to give your plants one good bath rather than multiple quick ones. Due to weather and soil type’s effect on water need, of course.
How long does it take for eggplant to grow after flowering?
After flowering, how long does eggplant take to grow? You may expect to see a number of eggplant cultivars produce full fruit within 50 to 80 days of flowering, depending on where you live.
How tall do eggplants grow?
A support system will be necessary when the plants mature and bear fruit, To support my eggplants, I use tomato cages or wire loops. It takes 24 to 36 months for a larger fruiting plant to reach a height of 18 inches in Asia. A good harvest can be expected if you take care of the crop.
How do you make eggplant grow faster?
Eggplants do well in raised beds because they heat up rapidly in the spring. In order for plants to thrive, they should be spaced at least 212 to 3 feet apart in all directions. Give your plants plenty of water, scatter 1 to 2 cups of compost around them, and gently firm the soil.