(Solanum melongena and others) Eggplant is easy to grow, and the fruit is nutritious and incredibly delicious. Another of the great staple agricultural crops of India, eggplant varieties have long been appreciated in traditional communities in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Mediterranean coast, and, more recently, the Americas. With their often large and showy purple or white blooms and velvety leaves, eggplants are ornamental enough to grow in the border or even in the front yard! Heat-loving plants, eggplants are best started indoors 8 to 10 weeks before the last frost date of spring. Sow seeds 1/4 inch deep. Seeds will germinate in 7-21 days. Ideal germination temperature is 75-89F. We recommend the use of a heat mat, or place the seed trays in a warm location, such as on top of the refrigerator. Be sure to set out transplants only after carefully hardening them to outdoor conditions, and only after warm weather has really arrived. Space plants 2.5 feet apart, keep them well watered but not soaked, and mulch to suppress weeds and retain moisture.
Our favorite eggplant is so long and skinny that the Chinese named it after a piece of string! This is the most slender, tender and best-tasting variety we have grown! This marvelous eggplant is so sweet it is even delicious raw in salads, and this buttery, tender East China variety is our top choice for doing just that! Very high-yielding plants produce profusions of 10-15-inch long fruit with lavender-violet skin and snowy white flesh. A superior choice for sautéing, grilling, and more! Fire up the wok and make the best pan of Chinese eggplant you will ever taste! Eggplant has an ancient history in China, where it is used for food and medicine. This is a masterpiece of thousands of years of eggplant selection from this amazing land. We grow these almost year-round in our greenhouses and outdoors in the warmer months They are super quick to mature. We cook the new baby fruit whole like green beans, only these are better!
A gourmet eggplant, highly regarded by top chefs in Japan, plants are super heat and humidity tolerant. A Kyo Yasai or traditional vegetable of Kyoto, this variety is specifically from the city of Kamo, Japan. It is considered a regional delicacy of the area thanks to a creamy, dense flesh and sweet flavor. Eggplant began to be cultivated in Japan in the 8th century, during the Tang dynasty, and much effort in breeding and refining has been put in since its introduction!
A truly scrumptious and unique member of the eggplant family, it tastes like a combination of eggplant, tomatoes and peppers. It is traditionally made into gourmet caponata or preserved and pickled. This red round fruit is popular in the Italian province of Potenza. The bright orange, round fruit was originally brought to Rotonda, Italy from Ethiopia just before World War II and can often be found in jars of olive oil and spread on crusty Italian bread. Jere Gettle found seeds for this delicacy while traveling in Italy in 2009.
A super long, Japanese eggplant with minty green skin that has a pretty, matte look. The white flesh is tender, but firm and has a superb, sweet and buttery eggplant flavor that is lacking in most eggplants. The impressively long fruit grows to 16 inches while remaining tasty and tender. This heirloom is divine in tempura, curries, pizza, soups and even salads! The perfect variety for roasting, grilling, pickling, frying or steaming. A healthy garden treat that is so easy to grow. An heirloom that has long been cherished by gardeners and chefs in beautiful Japan.
This variety was not only our earliest in the field, but also among the best eating varieties we have ever tried. The white flesh is not only tender, but it stays firm in cooking, and the flavor is heavenly, rich and sweet with delicious floral notes that make this a tender treat for a myriad of great dishes. Green eggplants are famous in Japan for their superior flavor and beauty. Fruit can grow huge, but remain perfect for eating.
A delicious and tiny heirloom that will become a new favorite! The fruit is a marvelous lavender color and just 1 inch across. The fruit can be used whole. Try it tossed into stir fries, amazing in curry and soups, or cooked on a skewer for a perfect bite-sized treat. Jere Gettle found this gorgeous edible ornamental on a trip to Thailand. Productive plants yield lots of flavorful fruit.