Eggplant

Eggplant growing

Eggplant is in the same family as tomatoes or peppers and need the same kind of care. There are purple and white varieties.

They need lots of heat and rich soil to grow their best. I get best results starting them indoors at the same time as my tomato plants.

This is not a common plant home gardeners grow, however if you enjoy eating and cooking with this vegetable it is a wonderful addition to the garden.

Grow Eggplant

Purple flower of on the eggplant.

Botanical Family - Solanaceae/Nightshade Family

Location - Well drained, sunny, warm location.

Soil - Good, rich, slightly on the acidic side.

Soil Preparation - This vegetable needs a lot of nutrients to grow well. Dig in lots of compost or manure before planting.

Seed Info

  • Seed Spacing - 12 inches apart
  • Germinate in soil temperature of 24 - 32 C
  • Days to Maturity - 70-80 days

Planting times - Sow indoor April 1-15; transplant mid to late June.

Planting Instruction - Add handful of compost to hole when transplanting. Needs lots of warmth; use clear plastic cloche or greenhouse. Cool temperatures will encourage leafy growth but no fruit.

Companion Planting

  • Positive affect: pea, thyme, tarragon
  • Negative affect: none

Watering - Require lots of water.

Weeding - Keep weeded when plants are small.

Disease & Insects - flea beetles, lace bug, aphids, Colorado potato beetle, red spider. Use rotation. I grow mine in a greenhouse and they have been bug free.

Harvested eggplants.

Harvest 

Fruit should be harvested when the surface is very glossy, and before it begins to assume a dull finish.

Cut the fruit from the plant with a knife leaving a 1/2 inch of stem, do not pull or twist as this can damage the plant.

Storage 

Store in a plastic bag in the warmer section of the refrigerator to protect against excess cold temperatures that can cause the development of pitted mushy spots.

They will keep up to 5 days this way.

Recipe

Fried Eggplant

1 medium eggplant, sliced into ½ inch pieces

1 cup chickpea flour

½ teaspoon salt

1 egg, slightly beaten

1 cup milk or soy milk

3 tablespoons olive oil

Parmesan cheese

In small bowl combine the egg, milk and 1 tablespoon olive oil.  To make the batter mix the flour and salt together and slow add it to the egg mixture.  Mix until smooth. 

Heat the rest of the oil in a large skillet.  Dip the slices of eggplant into the batter and fry in the heated oil for 2-5 minutes.  Drain on a paper towel. 

Serve with parmesan cheese.  Makes 4 servings.

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