|Fresh eggplant in mid-October!|
We planted black beauty eggplant seeds purchased from Seeds of Change way back in the beginning of the summer. The droughts throughout the season really stunted growth for a bunch of crops; but thanks to extensive mulching in all our rows, the cold has yet to really affect most of our late-summer veggies. Tomatoes are still turning red, and we found these beauties (with several more still on their way!) just two days ago.
Here are some tips we've consolidated regarding raising eggplants:
|Nutritional information: eggplant|
We started our seeds back in March and raised the young plants in the greenhouse until mid-May. Usually we transplant in June, but the season started early this year so we decided to go for it. If you grow eggplants and tomatoes, a good rule of thumb is to start eggplant seedlings a couple of weeks ahead of tomatoes, and transplant the young eggplants into the garden a week or two after setting out tomato plants.Eggplants, tomatoes, and peppers will all follow a similar growing schedule.
Eggplants can be cultivated in a manner very similar to tomatoes. They will flourish under the same growing conditions, and also prefer a fertilization regimen that favors potassium and phosphorous over high levels of nitrogen, especially when the plants are flowering and fruiting.
Although our eggplants appear to be extremely late bloomers, this vegetable actually likes it hot. Eggplants grow very well in raised beds and can be spaced 12 inches apart in each direction. Healthy plants will quickly cover and shade the bed, eliminating any opportunity for weeds to become established.
Click here for a yummy eggplant parm recipe!