Solanum melongena var. esculentum
Seeds must be started indoors 8-10 weeks prior to last frost. Sow seeds ¼" deep and provide a soil temperature of 24-27°C (75-80°F). Even moisture is essential while the seed is germinating. Germination is slow (up to 2 weeks). Gradually harden off seedlings, but do not allow temperature to go below 15°C (60°F). Transplant 18" apart in beds or rows 20-30" apart.
Heat loving plants require a full sun and sheltered area. Black paper or plastic mulch will help draw heat to the soil and encourage an early maturity. It will also help to conserve moisture and keep weeds down. Eggplants are moderate feeders and do well in very fertile soil with a pH level of 5.5 to 6.8. Apply compost and well rotted manure along with bonemeal.
Harvest anytime after the fruit reaches half of their size. Harvesting early prevents fruit from becoming too seedy and will encourage more production from the plants.
Pests & Diseases:
Colorado potato beetles love eggplant, even more so than potatoes and they can cause serious damage to this crop. Rotenone dust and/or hand picking insects and egg masses (orange masses on the under sides of the leaves) will keep damage to a minimum.
Bush bean, pea, pepper, potato.