75 days. A knock-out of an eggplant! This Italian heirloom forms a gorgeous, deep purple fruit with a pleated top that shows just a touch of cream color peeking out from the stem end. The 4-5 inch fruit are meaty and mild flavored with a texture that lends itself to all your gourmet eggplant dishes. Eclipsing most other varieties in our eggplant trials, the tall, vigorous plants are outstanding adorned with these shapely, eye-catching fruit.
Also available as a plant.
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|Seed Depth||Seed Spacing||Soil Temp for Germ.||Days to Germ.||Thin Plants To||Approximately 25 seeds per 1/8 gram.|
Solanum melongena Although the eggplant is a staple in cultures worldwide, this culinary oddity is ignored by far too many American gardeners and deserves a spot in the garden. Eggplants are remarkably versatile, taking on the flavor of whatever they are cooked with. They are very low in calories and fat, high in fiber, a good source of an assortment of minerals, and have a very low glycemic index.
CULTURE: Eggplants are heat-loving plants that require a long growing season. They enjoy daytime temperatures of 80-90°F and night temperatures in the 70s. To successfully grow them in cool or short season climates, they need to be started inside. Sow indoors 6 weeks prior to the last frost. Using a sterile seedling mix, sow the seed fairly thick. Cover and keep soil moist, but not too wet. Provide bottom heat for optimum germination. When plants have their second set of true leaves, up-pot them into 3-4 inch pots, 1 per container. Feed seedlings a well-balanced liquid grow formula. About 2 weeks before transplanting, harden off your starts by exposing them to nighttime temperatures as low as 40°F. You can expect some loss of weaker plants. Hardened off transplants will readily adapt to the garden and will get off to a better start. Set out when there is no longer a danger of frost. We usually wait until June 1st at our short season research farm. Eggplants will appreciate 1/2 cup of our complete fertilizer banded below each plant. The eggplant bed is also a good place to deposit extra chicken or rabbit manure. Plant in rows 2-3 feet apart.
MULCHES & PLANT COVERS: It has been proven that using these materials helps plants grow faster, flower sooner, and yield more fruit. We recommend silver or black mulch for eggplants, plus a row cover of Reemay or Grow Guard 20 early in the season. Consult the Season Extender section under garden supplies.
DISEASES: Verticillium and Fusarium wilts affect eggplants. These can best be controlled by using resistant varieties and by proper rotation and good garden sanitation.
INSECTS/ PESTS: Insect pests include flea beetles, aphids, and potato beetles. These pests can be controlled with row covers and applications of Pyrethrin.
HARVEST: The fruit are ready to harvest when the skin is still smooth and shiny. Over mature fruit will be soft and the seed will begin to darken. Fruit can be held 7-10 days at 45-55°F and 90-95% humidity.
SEED SPECS: Minimum germination standard: 70%. Days to maturity are calculated from transplanting date. Usual seed life: 2 years.