If you are new to growing eggplant, there are some misconceptions on when to pick these tasty black (or purple) vegetables. When visiting your local supermarket, they usually have these huge eggplant that are flavorless and bland. You do not have to go the same route though, because you can decide what to grow, how to grow it, and most importantly, when to harvest it.
To Pick Or Not To Pick, That Is The Question
There are a couple factors to consider when deciding to pick eggplant:
- Size – I like to pick my eggplant when they get to be a little bigger than my hand. As with other vegetables, it is better to pick eggplant when they are young and tender. Picking them early will also encourage the plant to grow more, and will help to extend the growing season. The eggplant does not have to be those behemoths you see at the supermarket.
- Shine – An eggplant is ready for the picking when it gets a nice reflective sheen to it. Grasp an eggplant you might think is ready, and carefully hold it up to the light – if it appears to be very shiny, it is ready.
How To Pick Eggplant
When you have found an eggplant that is ready to pick, first grasp it carefully with one hand, and raise it up a bit to get a better look. Remember, the eggplant should be a little bigger than your hand (or around that size), and have a nice shine to it.This is a ‘Black Beauty’ variety eggplant.
This is a good eggplant to pick! Be careful when grabbing an eggplant, most varieties have some sharp thorns on the stem and around the top of the eggplant. You’ll know when you get hold of one.
Picking the eggplant is simple and straightforward. Grasp the eggplant and carefully raise it up as in the first picture. Use a pair of sharp scissors or garden shears, and cut the eggplant at the stem. Make sure the scissors or garden shears are good and sharp – eggplant stems can be very tough to cut. It is better to cut the eggplant off rather than pulling or twisting it, which can damage the plant and leave you with broken limbs or worse – a broken plant.
There it is! You have just picked an eggplant and it is a beauty!
Before long you will have a mess of eggplant for all your favorite eggplant recipes!
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