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Eggplant, Turkish Orange

Short Description

A Turkish heirloom producing abundant red-orange fruit.

Full Description

Native to Turkey, this heirloom variety is a favorite of Italian gardeners and chefs. The petite 18-22" plants produce abundant yields of round, red-orange 3" fruit. Eat when the fruits are young and in the green stage. Once orange, the fruits are excellent for stuffing. 65-85 days from transplant. Insect-resistant.
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Item#: 59100A
Order: 1 Pkt.(30 Seeds)
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$3.95
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Product properties

Days To Maturity The average number of days from when the plant is actively growing in the garden to the expected time of harvest.

65-85 days

Fruit Size The average size of the fruit produced by this product.

3 inches

Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.

Full Sun

Spread The width of the plant at maturity.

24-36 inches

Height The typical height of this product at maturity.

18-22 inches

Sow Method This refers to whether the seed should be sown early indoors and the seedlings transplanted outside later, or if the seed should be sown directly in the garden at the recommended planting time.

Indoor Sow

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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 a 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 Maturity
65-85 days
Fruit Size
3 inches
Sun
Full Sun
Spread
24-36 inches
Height
18-22 inches
Sow Method
Indoor Sow
Planting Time
Spring
Sow Time
8-12 weeks BLF
Thin
24 inches
Life Cycle
Annual
Eggplant, Turkish Orange is rated 2.5 out of 5 by 4.
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful Eggplants Started two of these in March in my Aerogrow, and both produced strong plants. Transplanted to containers in April, and both are prolific producers. Leaves are more susceptible to pests than my Fairy Tale Eggplants. Fruits are maturing at 1 1/2". I'd like to see them closer to 3". Even orange fruits are firm with a sweet flavor. Would plant again.
Date published: 2015-06-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Since I have a lot of garden space, I am determined to try these again, with the knowlegde to pick this fruit before it turns orange. I waited too long and the fruits were mushy. Not an over abundant crop last year..
Date published: 2013-11-07
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Nothing Grew I bought these seeds from another vendor, but apparently Turkish Orange seeds are just bad. These seeds were the only seeds under lights with a heat mat that never germinated. I sowed the remainder of the pack last week, but I doubt they will come up outside. Waste of time and money...now I am out one type of eggplant.
Date published: 2012-05-10
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Eggplant & Artichoke seeds Tried twice in starter cups. Never grew.
Date published: 2012-05-09
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