Eggplant is a warm season vegetable that can be grown in the summertime. The eggplant plant grows well in containers, so if you don’t have a lot of space in your backyard or garden, try growing it this way. Here are some tips on how to grow eggplant from seed:
What You Need To Know Before Starting
Eggplant seeds are a little more complicated than other vegetables, but you can still grow eggplants from seed if you follow the simple instructions below.
Seeding eggplants is a lot like seeding tomatoes or peppers: You need to start them indoors several weeks before planting outside.
Planting in the right soil and giving them plenty of water will help ensure your eggplants grow healthy roots and sturdy stems. They’ll also need plenty of sunshine, which means they’re not frost tolerant.
Soil For Growing Eggplant
Soil for growing eggplant should be rich, well-drained and aerated. Eggplant prefers a pH level of 6.0 to 7.0 but will tolerate a range as high as 8.0 so you don’t have to adjust it if you have naturally alkaline soil (this can be done with an application of sulfur).
Eggplants prefer soil with lots of organic matter added in, but don’t like too much moisture or too much sun—they’ll grow best in full sun but will tolerate partial shade in the South and West during summer months (you can provide some shade by planting them under taller plants).
How To Prepare The Soil For Eggplants
You’ll want to make sure that the soil is well drained and moist, with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0, before planting.
To improve your soil quality, add compost or manure 1-2 weeks before planting. For eggplants that are grown in pots or containers, you can use a good quality potting mix instead of garden soil.
To ensure that the plant stays evenly watered over time, add a layer of mulch around the plants once they’ve sprouted new leaves—this will help keep moisture intact.
A layer of straw is another great way to prevent grasses from growing up through your garden area; just be sure not to cover the top of your eggplant plants with it (you don’t want them sitting in darkness).
What Is The Best Time Of Year To Plant Eggplant?
The best time to plant eggplant is in early spring, when the soil temperature is still cool. The seeds should be planted at a depth of 1/4 to 1/2 inch (6-12 mm).
If you live in an area where there are frequent frosts, it is recommended that you start your seeds indoors and transplant them into the garden after all danger of frost has passed.
Eggplants are sensitive to frost and will not survive if temperatures dip below 40°F (4.4°C).
Eggplants need warm soil temperatures as well as warm night temperatures for germination and seedling growth.
Most varieties require a minimum temperature of 60°F (15°C) under normal conditions but some can handle cooler conditions if protected by mulch or row covers.
When To Plant Eggplant Seeds
You can plant eggplant seeds any time, but the best time is in late spring or early summer. This is because eggplants need at least 70 degrees of soil temperature to germinate.
If you wait too long to plant them, they may not grow, and if you plant them too soon, they may rot in the ground before they are able to sprout.
If you live in a climate that has mild winters and warm summers it’s possible for eggplants to be planted outside year round.
However, if your location has harsh winters then it’s best for you to start your seeds indoors about two months before planting outdoors so that your plants will have ample time for growth prior to being transplanted into their permanent spot outdoors.
Plant your eggplant seedlings in full sun with rich organic soil (1 part compost and 1 part peat moss) mixed together at a ratio of 1:2 depth wise from top down until there is enough room between each hole made by your finger when pressing into moistened potting mix containing nutrients needed by growing plants such as nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) potassium (K).
How To Grow Eggplant Seedlings
Eggplants are a member of the nightshade family, so they like to keep their roots cool and moist.
If you’re planting them in pots or a raised bed, make sure you give your eggplants plenty of room to spread out — at least 12 inches apart between plants.
If you’re growing eggplant seeds indoors, start with seed trays filled with potting soil (that includes compost).
Plant three seeds per cell and cover them with 1/8 inch of soil; once they sprout, thin out the weakest plant by covering it with more potting mix.
Once your seedlings have grown their first set of true leaves and reached about 2 inches tall (about 4 weeks old).
Transplant them into larger pots with well-draining soil that has been amended with compost or manure tea for nutrients; this will help prevent root rot from overwatering during transplanting stress
How To Space Eggplants
The exact distance between plants depends on the type of eggplant you’re growing. For example, if you’re growing a small-sized variety such as “Ping Tung Long,” space plants at least 18 inches apart.
On the other hand, if you want to grow large-sized varieties like “Black Beauty,” plant them at least 36 inches apart.
In rows: To plant eggplants in rows, make sure that each row is at least 24 inches wide and leave about 4 feet between two rows (or more if your soil isn’t very fertile).
Mark these spaces with stakes so that when it’s time to harvest your crop, you’ll know how much space each plant needs.
To make sure that all of your vegetable plants are spaced correctly—and not too close together—use a garden hose as an easy way to measure distances between plants.
In pots: If you’re going to grow eggplants in pots rather than directly in the ground using raised beds or tubs filled with soil mix or organic potting mix available from many gardening stores.
Then it may be easier for beginners because there’s less work involved planting them one by one without having any weeds come up while they grow into big beautiful plants full of delicious fruits.
Eggplant Planting And Care Tips
To help you get your eggplant seeds started, here are some tips on how to grow eggplants from seed:
Eggplants need a lot of water. They’re thirsty plants that suffer if they’re allowed to dry out too much.
Keep an eye on the soil and water regularly when the weather gets hot, especially if you’re growing in pots or containers where the roots may dry out quickly.
Eggplants need rich soil with plenty of organic matter added in—the more earthworms, the better.
If you have sandy soil or live in a drought zone where watering isn’t practical, consider using raised beds for planting your seeds as this will make it easier for them to retain moisture and nutrients during periods of high evaporation (i.e., summer).
Grow your eggplant indoors under lights until frost hits before moving outdoors into its permanent location.
This gives you more control over temperature fluctuations which may cause premature flowering/fruit drop if temperatures drop too low too early in springtime when daylight hours are shortening but temperatures still remain high enough for growth (around 70°F).
Alternatively, plant indoors in large containers so that roots aren’t confined by small pots which tend towards overheating easily due being unable to absorb heat through mass like larger pots do.
Eggplants can do well in pots, but they need some more tender loving care.
Growing eggplants in pots is a little more complicated than growing them in the ground. Eggplant needs plenty of water and nutrients, but it also needs protection from frost.
If you have an outdoor greenhouse or cold frame, you can keep your plants warm enough until they are big enough to survive outside during cold weather—but if not, make sure that they get plenty of sun during summer so they can produce fruit before fall frost hits.
Eggplants need regular fertilizing throughout their growth period—a liquid fertilizer applied every two weeks should be sufficient for most varieties given proper care.
Growing eggplant from seed is not difficult. The seeds will germinate within a week or two if the soil temperature is about 70 degrees F. You can plant them directly outside in the spring once the soil warms up, or you can start them indoors earlier than that.
If you are starting seeds indoors, it’s best to keep your eggplants in pots until they reach at least six inches tall before transplanting outdoors where there is plenty of sunshine and water available.