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Growing Eggplant, also Aubergine

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
                S S T T

(Best months for growing Eggplant in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings

September: Bring on in pots - need a long growing season

  • Grow in seed trays, and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 24°C and 32°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 60 - 75 cm apart
  • Harvest in 12-15 weeks. Cut fruit with scissors or sharp knife.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Beans, capsicum, lettuce, amaranth, thyme
  • Avoid growing close to: Potatoes
  • A seedling
  • Eggplant

A large bushy plant with attractive purple flowers. Different varieties have different colours and sizes of fruit, ranging from the 'classic' large purple to the Thai small white varieties and Brazilian red.

Has spiky stems. Wear gloves to harvest fruit as the spikes on the calyx are sharp enough to break one's skin.

In cold climates grow in heated greenhouse and reduce artificial heat during summer.

Perennial in tropical climates otherwise grown as an annual.

Needs a long season. Start under cover and plant out when frosts have finished.

Some varieties with slim, long fruit such as Asian Bride produce their fruit earlier. Mulch well and keep well watered. May need staking

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Eggplant

Cut and use the same day if possible.
Slice, no need to peel, and fry in olive oil.
Brush with oil and grill or bake.
Or microwave,plain, for about 4 minutes on high.
Makes a good substitute for pasta in lasagne or moussaka.
Can be smoked over a gas ring or barbecue, cooled and peeled and used to make dips.

Your comments and tips

29 Dec 19, Alison TSAO (Australia - temperate climate)
Is it too late to plant Eggplant in Geelong, Victoria? Is Eggplant a climber? Where do I get the seeds or small plants?
04 Jan 20, JOHN CRANE (Australia - tropical climate)
I have them growing now on the Goldcoast, and planted as seedlings, and have several different varieties. The plants are between 30cm and 45cm tall, and started flowering less then 2 weeks after planting, Also have cucumber growing on a trellis adjacent, and getting 2 or 3 mature fruit per day
31 Dec 19, Carmel (Australia - temperate climate)
I think the best answer is it’s not too late if you’re thinking of growing them until April and then overwintering them for fruit for next year. You might even get lucky with fruit this year - but they are very slow growing and being planted quite late
30 Dec 19, Nat (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Eggplants aren't a climber but need to stake and support. You can find seedlings in Bunnings. Probably too late to grow from seed.
30 Dec 19, anon (Australia - temperate climate)
Go to Bunnings or a nursery and buy some seedlings if they have them. Good idea to put a stake (1.4-5m out of the ground) in to support them. If can't get seedlings try some seeds.
30 Dec 19, Greg (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I bought my egglant seedling from Bunnings and it's going well. Two months old and over 1 high (climbing up stake) and fruiting. Give it a whirl...only a few $ for the seedling.
08 Aug 19, Kwaku (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi When is the best time to sow eggplant and chilli seeds in Sydney? Cheers Kwaku
08 Aug 19, Liz (Australia - temperate climate)
Use the Vegetables and Herbs tab - top of the page - click on chosen vegetable, then check that the right zone is selected - top of the page - for most of Sydney it is Sub-tropical.
08 Aug 19, Colin Scott (Australia - temperate climate)
I have two egg plants that have given fruit and still have few flowers. What should I do for the next harvest? Pull them out and start again? Cut it back? Just leave it? Many thanks.
10 Aug 19, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
From the notes here about egg plant.
Showing 1 - 10 of 267 comments

Use the Vegetables and Herbs tab - top of the page - click on chosen vegetable, then check that the right zone is selected - top of the page - for most of Sydney it is Sub-tropical.

- Liz

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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