Eggplant, Fairy Tale Hybrid
Little jewels of delicious creamy flavor. Great for containers!
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 Maturity50 daysFruit Size4-5 inchesSunFull SunSpread12 inchesHeight16-18 inchesSow MethodIndoor SowPlanting TimeSpringSow Time8-12 weeks BLFThin24 inchesLife CycleAnnual
Eggplant, Fairy Tale Hybrid is rated out of 5 by 18.Rated 5 out of 5 by watekebb from Easy, breezy, beautiful, lots of fruit. As a first-time eggplant grower and former eggplant hater, I can't say enough good things about this variety. I started my Fairytale seeds indoors on a heating mat only 3 weeks from my last frost date. I had great germination rates, and the seedlings were very forgiving of my over-crowded apartment-living seed-starting situation, so I ended up having lots of extra transplants to give to friends. I set my 3 plants outdoors the end of May (a bit late for my area). 1 is in a 25 gallon bucket with 2 habanero peppers, 1 is in a 12 gallon self-watering container, and 1 was just thrown into this 12-inch diameter nursery pot we had laying around. All are performing wonderfully, even the one in the tiny pot! Just about a month after plant out, I picked my first batch of adorable 3"-4" long eggplants. They were delicious without any soaking or pre-salting. I just halved 'em, threw my cast iron pan onto my grill, and quickly tossed them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. It's only early July and it hasn't been remarkably hot or sunny, but I've already made 2 more meals out of these little guys for myself and my partner! They haven't a trace of bitterness or woodiness, and I don't mind that they're small because that means they cook up fast. The plants are stout and strong and fuzzy-leaved, and I have lots more fruit and blossoms coming. The only downside I could see is that you'd have to pick a lot of these/have a lot of plants to feed a family. For a couple, 3 plants are ideal because you can harvest every week and a half and have just enough for a stir fry. But the plants seem to only be able to mature about 4 or 5 little eggplants at a time (each time I clean them off, the immature fruit have a growth spurt and the plants set a lot more blossoms), and I'd say you need at least 6 or 7 eggplants per person for a main course. However, for my situation and my urban garden, this variety is a real winner!Date published: 2015-07-07Rated 5 out of 5 by elshello from Prolific & early even in Northern gardens This is the earliest and most prolific eggplant I have grown. While I personally prefer the Italian type, my Indian in-laws really liked this variety for cooking. It is seedy, but the seeds are very tiny. I made Szechuan spicy eggplant stir fry with this and was immediately asked for the recipe. No bitterness whatsoever. I recommend this very highly if you like Asian cooking and live in an area with short summers.Date published: 2014-10-04Rated 4 out of 5 by OutdoorAnnie from I Prefer Shooting Stars Eggplant I purchased this (in plant form) for the first time this year. This is definitely a nice little eggplant. It just didn't grow well for me in a container. Only two fruits grew true to its description; the rest seemed to stop growing while still immature, some turning yellowish instead of the lovely purple with white streaks of the others. Although this may be because of something I did or didn't do, the shooting stars variety of eggplant that I also tried for the first time, was cared for in the same way and I was happier with the results. I would still recommend giving this a try.Date published: 2014-09-21Rated 5 out of 5 by SoulAlcatraz from Prolific and Tasty I'm growing my Fairy Tale in a 10 gallon pot, and it has been crazy prolific! I've gotten literally dozens of pretty little 3" eggplants from just one plant. They taste great too, and have a nice dense texture. I will definitely be growing these again. I highly recommend growing them in a pot for eggplant lovers in cold regions with short summers.Date published: 2013-09-12Rated 5 out of 5 by FLgardener85 from Delicious little eggplant! This really is the best tasting eggplant I have ever had. My fruits were around 3-4" when I picked them. They were so tender and delicious. I soak my cut up eggplant in salted water for 10-15 min before cooking to ensure they are not bitter. Works every time. I will definitely be planting these again.Date published: 2013-06-25Rated 3 out of 5 by Anonymous from A little disappointed I was excited to find these eggplants, as I had bought some from a grower the previous year. I purchased three of the plants along with 3 Purple Rain to compare the fruit. The Fairy Tale plants grew beautifully and produced an abundance of fruit, but they would not mature to full size. No matter how long I left them on the plant, they would stop growing at about 1-1/2 to 2" in length and were only 1/2" across. These were way too small to enjoy. We were able to harvest a few that grew almost large enough early in the season, so I am hoping the fault was with our soil. But since the Purple Rain did so well, I don't know. We have ordered another plant this year to see how it does since we have been working on the soil. The beauty of this eggplant is the marvelous tender taste, so we decided it was worth trying one more time!Date published: 2013-04-30Rated 4 out of 5 by UrbanGardeningGirl from Far from Ordinary! I am so excited to try these eggplant! I've had them in the soil since the plants were shipped to me in May and am about to harvest my first little gems! The purple flowers were gorgeous flowers and we have really enjoyed seeing them develop in the last few months. We have 2 plants in containers flank by rainbow Swiss Chard and one in the ground. The ones in the containers are actually doing better for some reason (our ground soil isn't great so that could be part of it). I scored 4 stars only because I haven't eaten them - yet!!Date published: 2012-07-25Rated 5 out of 5 by RenoUrbanGardener from Excellent Little Eggplants! I missed the part in the description about these eggplants being "mini jewels"- as they are little 3"-5" fruits. But the plant makes up for size with being prolific! I have at least 9 little eggplants per plant. The flowers are beautiful and it makes a nice little planted pot. Picture shown is true to actual plant :)Date published: 2012-07-21