Depending on the variety, eggplant plants can grow up to four feet tall. The fruits are usually four to eight inches long. They are typically harvested when the skin has a glossy look. Some varieties produce smaller fruits, which are great for container gardens. In addition, they can be grown as perennials, and grow for years to come.
The best way to start an eggplant plant is by planting it from seed. Seeds should be sown at least four weeks before the average date of the last frost in your area. It is important to plant eggplant seeds in a warm location, as the plant needs warm air to germinate. You should plant eggplant seeds about 0.25 inches deep. If you want to start eggplant seeds indoors, you should cover the seed with soil, and then cover it with a small layer of compost. The compost will provide the plant with essential nutrients.
Eggplants require at least six hours of sunlight each day. They also need a pH range of 5.5-7.2. They should be grown in a well-draining soil, and watered gently. In hot weather, they may need to be watered twice a week, to a depth of 12 inches. It is best to water during the early morning and evening. Water should be applied directly to the soil, not to the foliage. It is important to avoid watering the leaves of eggplants, as this can prevent them from absorbing the water needed for optimum growth.
During the growing season, eggplants should be watered two to four times a week to a depth of six inches. Watering cans should not run off to the side, as this will disrupt the roots of the plant. If you need to water your plant during the day, you should use a garden hose and let the water soak into the soil. You should also mulch the soil around the plant to help keep it moist. The mulch should be made of chopped leaves, tree bark, or organic matter. This mulch will also help prevent weed growth.
You should also protect the eggplant from frost, as this will kill the plant. You can use a floating row cover, or an electric fan, to keep the vines warm during the winter. This will also help prevent blight. You should be aware that flea beetles are a common pest on eggplants. It is also important to remove weeds as soon as they appear. If you cannot avoid weeds, you can plant eggplants in rows, which will prevent them from competing with the plant for nutrients.
You should plant eggplants in well-draining soil and have plenty of sun exposure. It is also important to plant eggplants in locations with overhead frost protection. You can use row covers or water jugs to protect the seedlings from frost.
The growth period of eggplant is usually two months. The plant should be pruned to the smallest new growth in the fall. If you are planting eggplants in a container, you may want to use a small basin around the seedling to direct water to the roots.