Eggplant, Black Beauty
HEIRLOOM. From 1902, it remains a standard worldwide for large-fruited black eggplant.
Days To Maturity
8-12 weeks BLF
Plant Shipping Information
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How to Sow and Plant
- Sow eggplant seeds indoors 8 weeks before the last frost in spring using a seed starting kit.
- Sow seeds ¼ inch deep in seed-starting formula
- Keep the soil moist at 75 degrees F
- Seedlings emerge in 10-21 days
- As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
- Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
- If you are growing in small cells, you may need to transplant the seedlings to 3 or 4 inch pots when seedlings have at least 3 pairs of leaves before transplanting to the garden so they have enough room to develop strong roots
- Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning. This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.
Planting in the Garden:
- Select a location in full sun with good rich moist organic soil. Make sure you did not grow tomatoes, peppers, eggplant or potatoes in the bed the previous year to avoid disease problems.
- Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones.
- Eggplants should be set 2-3 feet apart in a row with the rows spaced 3-4 feet apart.
- Dig a hole for each plant large enough to amply accommodate the root ball.
- Carefully remove the plant from its pot and gently loosen the root ball with your hands to encourage good root development.
- Fill the planting hole with soil to the top and press soil down firmly with your hand leaving a slight depression around the plant to hold water.
- Use the plant tag as a location marker. This is particularly important if you are trying different varieties. It is very difficult to tell which variety is which from the foliage.
- Water thoroughly, so that a puddle forms in the saucer you have created. This settles the plants in, drives out air pockets and results in good root-to-soil contact.
- Eggplants may also be planted in containers. Use a container at least 18-24 inches wide and deep and use a commercial potting mix rather than garden soil.
How to Grow
- Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating.
- Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. This is especially important for tomatoes as their roots may be easily damaged when weeding, and this can lead to blossom end rot.
- Keep plants well-watered during the growing season, especially during dry spells. Plants need about 1-2 inches of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It's best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
- Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
Harvesting and Preserving Tips
- Pick regular-sized eggplants at 4-5 inches long, 60-70 days after transplanting into the garden. Look for firm fruits, with a glossy shine. Dull skin is a sign that the plants are overripe. Overripe fruit turn brownish and the flavor may be bitter.
- Hold firmly at the blossom end and cut with a knife or pruners. When cutting the fruit, leave 1 inch of stem attached. Eggplants are prickly at the stem end so handle with care.
- Use eggplants immediately after harvesting. If you would like to freeze some for later use, cook the fruit first and then freeze.
- Eggplant makes a great substitute for meat in many dishes.
Days To Maturity74 daysFruit Size4-5 inchesSunFull SunSpread16 inchesHeight18-24 inchesSow MethodIndoor SowPlanting TimeSpringSow Time8-12 weeks BLFThin24 inchesLife CycleAnnual
Eggplant, Black Beauty is rated out of 5 by 15.Rated 5 out of 5 by mathchef from Delicious and Prolific This is my first year growing this variety and I couldn't be more pleased. I started harvesting by mid to late July. I have cut 6 eggplants so far. There are at least 6 more still on the plant and the summer is far from over. I did not have any trouble with pests (as I have had with other varieties). Each eggplant is large and well shaped. Seeds are small and flavor is great. I put a large tomato cage around the plant to support its branches, as the fruit can get quite heavy. Will definitely grow again.Date published: 2015-08-09Rated 5 out of 5 by bill78602 from Best Eggplant Purchased 15 plants, and have eaten eggplant every week since June plus have given away well over 75 and counting Black Beauty eggplant has a place in my garden every year, and I have been growing this variety for many, many years. Not only is it an excellent producer, it's delicious to boot. Frankly, I couldn't ask for a better producer. I end up with sooooo many eggplants that I end up giving them away to all of my neighbors.Date published: 2013-08-31Rated 5 out of 5 by GinaS from Eggplants Galore I yield so many i have to give them awayDate published: 2013-05-11Rated 5 out of 5 by GAGardeningGal from Excellent producer! Black Beauty eggplant has a place in my garden every year, and I have been growing this variety for many, many years. Not only is it an excellent producer, it's delicious to boot. Frankly, I couldn't ask for a better producer. I end up with sooooo many eggplants that I end up giving them away to all of my neighbors.Date published: 2013-04-10Rated 5 out of 5 by MoJoe from Excellet results This plant is a slow grower. I used the "epsom salt" trick, as was suggested, and it helped. I definitely got more than one eggplant per plant. Not sure how many, but I planted 6 plants and still had eggplants in late September to give away. Last year was my first time planting eggplant, and I was very happy with the results. However, this year, I will be planting only 3 plants, as I had entirely too many eggplants last year.Date published: 2013-03-01Rated 5 out of 5 by Steveb from slow starter but then wow Thought these little fellas would never bear. After the first one showed up from then on I had eggplants coming out of my ears. Great taste and prolific bearer. (after a while)Date published: 2013-01-16Rated 1 out of 5 by Nara from did not grow After having spent over $25 dollars on just three sets of seeds, it has been a complete waste of our money. We followed the directions preciisely, and the plants have not grown in the starter pot, indoors. Oh well, next time, we will stick to buying seeds or plants from the local home depot, from a different seed vendor.Date published: 2012-05-09Rated 4 out of 5 by brabo from black beauty started from seed indoors, plants have been in garden for 30 days, so far so good, healthy w/ plenty of bloomsDate published: 2012-05-09