Start eggplant seeds indoors in a warm, well-lighted area 8-10 weeks before last frost. Sow seeds in seed-starting formula in individual containers. Sow 1/4" deep, firm lightly and keep evenly moist. Place containers in a south facing window or under grow lights until seedlings emerge. Seedlings emerge in 10-21 days.
How to Grow
Before setting out in garden, "harden off" seedlings by accustoming to outdoor conditions by moving to a sheltered place outside for a week. Set plants 12" apart in rows 30" apart once the soil has thoroughly warmed. Provide eggplant plants with extra water during especially dry periods. Plant eggplants in a different location each year.
Pick regular-sized eggplants at 4-5" long, 60-70 days after transplanting into the garden. (Make sure the skin is still glossy; dull skin is a sign that the plants are overripe.) When cutting the fruit, leave 1" of stem attached. Use eggplants immediately after harvesting. Eggplant makes a great substitute for meat in many dishes.