Eggplants are a high fibre, low calorie food rich in nutrients and said to have many health benefits as well. It absorbs oils and flavours easily making it delicious in many recipies. The seeds and skin can be eaten. Related to the potato/tomato family.
How to Grow: Start seed indoors about 10 weeks before your typical last frost date. Soak seeds in water overnight before planting. Seed germinates best at a temperature of 27°C(80°F). After seeds sprout, grow on under lights at a slightly cooler temperature of 23°C(72°F).
Transplanting: Harden off seedlings gradually then transplant outside to the garden after the danger of frost has passed. Plant in a full sun location with a fertile, highly organic soil. Place the transplants 60 cm (24”) apart in rows 90 cm (36”) apart. Keep evenly watered through the season and feed regularly with a low nitrogen fertilizer. Eggplants also do well when staked/trellised like tomatoes.
Harvesting: About 3 to 4 weeks before your typical first fall frost date, pinch off any blossoms that develop. This well encourage the plant to put its energy towards maturing the fruit that it is already carrying. Mature fruit is dark and shiny and the surface will not spring back when it is depressed and released.