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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 

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

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    Selecting plants

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    Planting

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    How to keep your eggplants healthy and productive

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    Cindy Tong, Extension horticulturalist

    Reviewed in 2018

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