Eggplant is a native of India, but it is widely grown in the warmer regions of both hemispheres, especially in the West Indies and southern United States.
The eggplant is a very tender plant that requires a long, warm season for successful production. The plants are killed by light frost and are injured by long periods of chilly, frostless weather. Plants should not be set out until all danger of frost has passed.
Oval or elongated oval shaped
- Harris Special Hibush• Burpee Hybrid• Black Magic• Classic
- Dusky• Black Beauty
Long, slim shaped
- Little fingers• Ichiban• Tycoon
White skinned, oval shaped
- Casper• Easter egg
Transplant after danger of frost Spacing –Spacing of Plants Space plants 18 to 20 inches apart in the row. Allow 30 to 36 inches between rows. Consider using raised beds or black plastic mulch to warm soil and speed early-season growth. If using organic mulches to help retain moisture, do not apply until the soil has warmed. Use row covers to protect plants from pests.
Water eggplant deeply and infrequently, applying 1-2 inches per week. Use drip irrigation if possible. Mulching around the plant will conserve soil moisture and reduce weed growth. Irrigate so that moisture goes deeply into the soil. Irregular watering (under or over) can cause tough leathery fruit or root rot.
Plastic and organic mulches help control weeds. Cultivate shallowly around the plants to avoid root damage, especially when plants are small
Harvest the fruits when they are 6 to 8 inches long and glossy. Use a knife or pruning shears rather than breaking or twisting the stems.
Eggplant has limited nutrients and is low in calories, high in fiber and a source of folate and potassium
PESTS OF EGGPLANT
Eggplant – a solanaceous crop – has some of the same pests as pepper, potato, and tomato. The eggplant flea beetle and the eggplant lace bug are common pests, but twospotted spider mites can be more damaging.
Early blight starts at the bottom of the plant. Verticillium wilt causes yellowing, wilting and death of the plants. Flea beetles cause tiny holes in the leaves, and damage can be severe if unchecked. These beetles can be controlled by applying an insecticide.
Diseases – verticillium wilt, early blight, Phomopsis insects – flea beetles, aphids, lace bugs, Colorado potato beetles, red spider mites