Eggplant Gardening Tip
Eggplants (or aubergines) can be a little tricky to grow – it’s important to keep them warm, and keep a watchful eye out for pests. But the extra effort involved will all be worth it when you gather your harvest of bulbous, black or purple eggplants or enjoy your homemade baba ghanoush, ratatouille or melanzane.
Plant your eggplant seedlings in deep, well-drained soil. Water regularly in warm weather, but don’t allow the water to stand. As your eggplants grow and begin to produce fruits, they’ll need some support so be ready with wire loops for them to lean on.
The fruits are best picked when they still look shiny. If you wait until the skin appears duller, then the flesh will contain more seeds and the skin will be tougher. In our warm South African climate, this means picking them before they’ve reached full size, so that you can enjoy firm flesh without any seeds.
Whether you choose to stuff, grill or bake your eggplants, you’ll find dozens of wonderful recipes. You could even try drying or pickling them if you have a bumper crop, or give them away to friends and family so that they can share in the bounty of your garden. You might even inspire them to become organic veggie gardeners too!