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Eggplant

Botanical Name
Solanum melongena
Hardiness
Annual
Height
2 to 4 feet
Width
2 to 4 feet
Flowers
Mid to late summer: violet
Fruit
Variety of colors and shapes; purple, white, green, orange; long and thin or ball-shaped
Light
Full sun
Soil
Moist, well-drained, fertile
Planting & Care
  • Best germination occurs with soil temperature 80F to 90F
  • Start plants indoors about 6 weeks before the last frost date or 8 weeks before transplanting outdoors. Sow seeds 1/4 deep.
  • Harden off plants and transplant outdoors only after all danger of frost has passed and the temperatures have warmed to at least 60F
  • Space plants 18 to 24 inches apart, spacing rows 30 to 36 inches apart
  • Pinch off any flowers 2 to 4 weeks before first expected frost. This allows the plant to put its energy into ripening the existing fruit
  • Use floating row covers to protect plants from temperature fluctuations and pests
  • Some varieties may need staking
Problems
Verticillium wilt, flea beetles, aphids, cutworms, Colorado potato beetle
Varieties
  • Fairy Tale - 2005 All-America Selections winner, petite, white with purple stripes
  • Gretel - 2009 All-America Selections winner, small white fruit
  • Hansel - compact 3', thin purple fruit 3-10" in length
  • Easter Egg - small white egg-shaped fruit, mature to yellow, edible

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