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The Seed Program
Growing Hints

This is one of the many growing hints that are available as a bonus with a registered copy of The Seed Program.


Eggplant thrives on hot weather and requires a long growing season. In all but the warmest of climates, this means starting the plants indoors and transplanting them out in the garden when the weather is warm and frost is a distant memory.

Eggplants require even moisture, especially when fruit is maturing, and compete poorly with weeds. Mulch is extremely helpful -- a good thick layer of straw or shredded leaves will hold in moisture and suppress the growth of weeds. Because of their love for heat, black plastic can also be used successfully.

Eggplants are also heavy feeders, and will do much better if a generous amount of compost or well rotted manure is worked into the soil before planting. Additional fertilizing while the plant is growing is also very helpful.

Eggplant foliage is considered a tasty treat by a number of different insects, including Colorado potato beetles (eggplants are related to potatoes) and flea beetles. Flea beetles are so tiny that they may easily escape notice, but they can multiply rapidly and the tiny pinholes that they make in the leaves add up to serious injury. These pests can rapidly defoliate a plant. Their feeding and the diseases they transmit are particularly devastating to young plants. A good strategy is to cover young plants with a floating row cover as soon as they are transplanted out in the garden. A week or two after the first flowers appear, remove the covers so that the blossoms can be pollinated. The bugs can still do serious harm, so keep an eye on the plants. Pick off any potato beetles or larva you see, and dust with rotenone or pyrethrum to control flea beetles. Yellow "sticky traps" can also help to keep the flea beetle population in check. As well as potatoes, eggplants are related to peppers and tomatoes. Avoid planting eggplants where any of these relatives have been grown during the past couple of years, and this will help with disease and insect problems.

For more crops, more complete gardening information, a garden journal and a planting schedule you can customize for your region, purchase The Seed Program!

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