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Growing eggplant in home gardens

Quick facts

  • Eggplant needs warm conditions, and will not thrive during a cool season.
  • If you buy plants from a garden center, choose sturdy plants up to a foot tall.
  • Start eggplant seeds about eight weeks before planting outside.
  • Transplant outdoors after nighttime low temperatures have risen above 50°F.
  • Install plant supports at the time of planting.
  • Use mulch to heat the soil and reduce root damage.
  • Harvest the eggplants when they have reached mature size, clipping them off with sharp shears. 

Eggplant is a short season vegetable 

Purple and white Fairy Tale eggplants growing on plant

Eggplant (Solanum melongena)is a relative of peppers, potatoes, tomatoes and tobacco.

Eggplant needs warm conditions, and will not thrive during a cool season. There are varieties are available that thrive with Minnesota’s short summer season.

    Soil pH and fertility


    Selecting plants




    How to keep your eggplants healthy and productive


    Cindy Tong, Extension horticulturalist

    Reviewed in 2018

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