How To Transplant Eggplant

eggplant seedling

Eggplant is a favorite to grow among many vegetable gardeners. It is very easy to grow, a prolific producer, and has many uses in the kitchen. It is a heat lover, and actually thrive as the temperatures begin to climb into the summer haze of heat. It is actually in the same family as tomatoes and have many of the same requirements as far as nutrients and soil are concerned.

A great way to grow eggplant is by starting the seeds indoors four to six weeks before the last frost and then transplant into the vegetable garden. Do not try to transplant it too soon; they need soil temperatures in excess of 70° in order to thrive. Transplant any sooner than that and you can end up with unhappy or even dead plants.

If you are interested in transplanting your eggplant into the vegetable garden, here’s how:

Transplanting Eggplant Into The Vegetable Garden

As mentioned previously, the soil temperatures should be at least 70° before transplanting. Once the soil has reached the minimum temperature, prepare the seedling for transplanting.

I will be transplanting ‘Rosa Bianca‘ eggplant in my vegetable garden this year. ‘Rosa Bianca’ is an old heirloom variety that produces lavender and white-striped fruit that are just as beautiful as they are delicious.

The first thing I do with the transplant is to remove the peat pot from around the seedling. It is important to do this carefully so the soil around the roots of the seedling does not fall away.

Carefully Remove Peat Pot From Eggplant Seedling

With your hand, dig out a small hole for the eggplant seedling. The soil of the seedling should sit about level with the garden soil height, so don’t dig the hole too deep. With a seedling of this size, you only need a couple inches. Once the hole is formed, simply place the seedling in the center of the hole.

Place Eggplant Seedling In Hole To Be Planted

Now cover the seedling with a mixture of soil and a little compost, covering the seedling at the same height as the existing garden soil. Make sure to add mulch around the seedling to help retain moisture and suppress weeds.

Cover Eggplant Seedling With Soil and Mulch

Water the newly transplanted eggplant seedlings well with water and compost tea. After a couple weeks, the seedlings will need to be thinned and then should supply us with great looking and tasting eggplants well into early Fall.

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5 Comments on How To Transplant Eggplant

  1. I have had a hard time with eggplant. I bought a few Casper transplants and the rest I sowed seeds (indoors then transplanted) – heirloom Diamond variety.

    Bugs or something leave small holes all through the leaves of the Casper – and I can’t see nor get rid of them. Diamond are still very small plants but after reading your post, it’s probably the soil temps and I think they’ll take off soon. I cook w/lots of eggplant and hope to have a great harvest. (They are so expensive at the store any more!)

    Thanks for the post!

    • Hi Karen,

      Those small tiny holes you are finding in the leaves are most likely flea beetles. They are very, very tiny like bugs that look like black dots on the leaves. If you go out to the plants and see black dots on them, reach down and touch the leaves and see if the black dots jump away.

      To get rid of the flea beetles use a cayenne pepper spray, sprinkle diatomaceous earth all over the plants, and you can spray neem oil on them. Make sure to cover the bottom and top of the leaves.

      I feel your pain, I just went to the garden and found them on my bok choi and eggplant 🙁 So I had to do the same thing.

      • what is neem oil and
        can i just mix cayenne pepper with water or is it something you buy and where

        • Hi Eleanor – Neem oil is oil from a neem plant. It is most commonly used as an organic pesticide for aphids and other insect pests.

          You can just mix cayenne pepper with water. You can just buy the powdered kind found in the spice section of the supermarket.

  2. Flea beetles have destroyed my eggplant transplants every year so I’ve resorted to growing them in large pots where I have total control of the soil I’m using. This year I’m going to experiment by growing one eggplant to a large enough size so that if the flea beetles attack it, the plant is large enough to not be effected. I will also spray with a ESPOMA Organic Earth-Tone Insect Control which is a cocktail of pyrethin and canola oil.

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