Florida Market High Bush Eggplant Guide
Eggplants grow best in warm weather between 75°F-95°F. They do great in containers and small gardens. Bank on Seeds recommends transplanting.
If Direct Seeding
- Direct seed outside 4 weeks after last frost date; or
- Direct seed into a container 12-14 inches deep and wide anytime of the year. It can be placed outside when the temperature is between 75°F-95°F; or
Begin the growing season early and start the eggplant seeds indoors in trays or pods 4 weeks before the last frost date; clingwrap the container to seal in the warmth. You can even place a heat mat under them as they love warmth during germination. Germination is best and fastest between 75°F-85°F. It can be transplanted outside 8 weeks later.
Sow seeds 1/4 inch deep and 18-24 inches apart with rows spaced 24-36 inches apart. Germination will take 7-14 days.
Eggplant likes well-draining, fertile soil mixed in with compost and free of weeds. They also like full sun and thorough but infrequent watering. Check the top 3-4 inches of soil and if it is dry, then water it. You can let dry between watering.
Add compost to the soil every 5-6 weeks or use 10-10-10 or 5-10-10 fertilizer.
Days to maturity take 80-85 days. Harvest when the fruits reach desired sizes. Use sharp scissors or a knife to cut the eggplant off carefully. Beware of the prickly stem and be careful not to bruise the soft fruit. Harvesting more will encourage more production of eggplants.
Aphids, whiteflies, flea beetles, potato beetle, hornworm, spider mites – avoid over fertilizing with nitrogen, manage weeds, handpick off, insecticide, neem oil
*Plant eggplants with dill, cilantro, peas, peppers, spinach and marigolds. Avoid planting with fennel.*