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Eggplant, Meatball Hybrid

Short Description

The meatiest, tastiest, flavorfulest eggplant ever. A virtuoso of versatility.

Full Description

Meet the mightiest, meatiest eggplant ever. Imagine fresh, home-grown, vine-ripened meat: that’s ‘Meatball’. Fruit’s dense, moist, flavorful flesh captures the flavor and texture of meat as no other eggplant—or any vegetable—can. Roly-poly, jewel-toned, moist, and super-flavorful, large 5” fruits are virtuosos of versatility, as entrees, appetizers, side dishes, or sauces. However you slice it, or cook it—as cutlets, in stirfries, pastas, curries, dips, salads, or mashed for baba ghanoush—‘Meatball’ is a marvel.
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Item#: 50100A
Order: 1 Pkt. (35 seeds)
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$7.99
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Item#: 21146
Order: 3 Plants
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$17.99
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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.

55-60 days

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

4-6 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.

25-32 inches

Height The typical height of this product at maturity.

24-32 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

Plant Shipping Information

Plants begin shipping week of:

May 07, 2018

Click here for Spring shipping schedule

Restrictions:

Item 21146 cannot ship to: AA, AE, AK, AP, AS, CN, FM, GA, GU, HI, MH, MP, PR, PW, VI
See all Burpee plant shipping restrictions for your state

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Video

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  • Eggplants

    Eggplants
    Start Indoors Start Indoors Starting seeds indoors is called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds indoors in the spring or summer
    Transplant Transplant When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for spring
    Start Outdoors Start Outdoors Starting seeds outdoors is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the spring or summer
    Start Indoors Fall Start Indoors Fall Starting seeds indoors in the fall called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fall
    Transplant Fall Transplant Fall Transplant Fall-When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for fall
    Start Outdoors Fall Start Outdoors Fall Starting seeds outdoors in the fall is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fall
    First Date: Feb-22 - Last Date: Mar-07
    First Date: May-16 - Last Date: May-30
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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
55-60 days
Fruit Size
4-6 inches
Sun
Full Sun
Spread
25-32 inches
Height
24-32 inches
Sow Method
Indoor Sow
Planting Time
Spring
Sow Time
8-12 weeks BLF
Thin
24 inches
Life Cycle
Annual
Eggplant, Meatball Hybrid is rated 2.9 out of 5 by 51.
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Wish mine looked like the picture! Plants were slow to grow and very light producers. Out of 3 plants, 1 eggplant reached the size of a softball, maybe. Very disappointed. I will say they did taste good. This year (2017) I grew Black Beauties in the SAME spot without adding fertilizer or compost and each plant produced more than the 3 meatball plants combined, the fruit was normal sized and our weather was awful this year. I'll stick with the Black Beauty...
Date published: 2017-11-24
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Poor Performance! I ordered 3 of these plants, grew well in the greenhouse but when transferred outside, stopped growing! 4 fruits about 2-3 inches long. My other eggplants did fine. will not order this again.
Date published: 2017-11-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Gorgeous foliage, but slow to mature. These didn't come through for me by the time our first freak snowfall hit in early October. I planted these in June. They were just starting to flower in early September after and unusually wet later summer. I'll probably try a different variety of eggplant next year.
Date published: 2017-10-13
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Small eggplant I am very disappointed that the fruits are small and very seedy. I emailed Burpees customer serive and they promptly responded with an apology and a refund. I am glad Burpees back their 100% satisfaction guarantee but my time lost and wasted growing space cannot be reversed. Despite the disappointing performance of this variety, I have to admit the 3 fruits (from 3 difeerent plants) I managed to harvest taste nutty/silky/excellent with thin skins. I may still try it again next year growing it in a pot on a sunny patio. Will update my review next year.
Date published: 2017-09-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I have been impressed This has been a very successful eggplant. Mine aren't nearly as big as the picture but I have some problems with the soil in the bed in which they are planted. My whole family has loved them. I am especially pleased as this is my first year growing from seed (or at least trying to!). Flea beetles are a plague here in northern Alabama but the plants have survived and yielded, even without regular spraying.
Date published: 2017-08-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good little eggplant More traditional ovoid eggplant shape but smaller.Very mild - no bitterness detected in the first few we've eaten. Sturdy, healthy plants. Planning to grow this again next year.
Date published: 2017-07-15
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Did not hold up in 2016 garden I plant a large vegetable garden in zone 6 every year, including about 38 eggplants. Have "weeded through" many variries over the years. Tried two plants of Meatball I started from seed in 2016. Was thrilled early in the harvest season with Meatball producing my first beautiful eggplant. It was downhill from there. Production and quality did not compare with other proven varities over the harvest season. Will not plant again.
Date published: 2017-03-31
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Seeds started Well, it is still winter in Ohio, it's a bit early to write a review. I can state that all 9 seeds that I've started are thriving. We'll have several months to wait to see what the yield is and how the plants perform.
Date published: 2017-03-08
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