Eggplants are warm weather veggies that look stunning in the garden and enticing on the dinner table! Eggplants belong to the Nightshade family and are one of the easiest to grow of all vegetable plants. Here’s how you can grow eggplants from seed.
Start eggplant seeds indoors, 8-10 weeks from the final frost date for your area. Refer the instructions on the seed packet for details of the planting depth and spacing. Cover the container with a plastic sheet and place it at a warm location. Once the plants grow about 6-7 inches tall, you can move the seedlings to individual pots. Harden off the young plants by placing them at a sheltered location of your garden. Start by allowing the plants a couple of hours out in the garden and gradually add to this time over a period of 8-10 days.
A sunny site with well drained, fertile soil is ideal for growing eggplants. If the area you live in is subject to strong winds, I’d recommend you plant eggplants at a site that offers protection against the wind.
You can transplant eggplants once the soil temperature reaches 60 degrees F. If there’s any threat of frosts, I’d suggest you wait until it’s over. When planting, allow a separation of at least 18-24 inches between the plants.
Cover the plants with row covers. This will keep them safe from the cold as well as from pests. Irrigate eggplants on regular basis, making sure they receive at least 1 inch of water every week. Mulching the plants is a fine way of keeping the soil moist and repelling the growth of weeds. Use straw, wood clippings and shredded leaves to provide your plants with a 2-3 inch layer of mulch. Fertilize eggplants once every month, using a standard liquid fertilizer.
Growing eggplants from seed is a near effortless way of providing healthy, nutritious food to your family. Also, it’s quite a lot of fun!