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.
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.
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.
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.