If you love grilling, then plant some eggplant this year! Eggplant steaks are great on the grill—and this is a vegetable that you can easily grow in containers if you don’t have a lot of space.
How To Plant Eggplant
Start: Start eggplants indoors 6 weeks before the last frost date. Take them outside daily and place them in a sheltered location for a couple of weeks to harden them off before transplanting in the garden. When you’re ready to plant, space them 24 to 36 inches apart.
Water: Keep soil evenly moist but not too wet—1 to 1 1/2 inches of rain per week is ideal.
Soil: Soil should drain well, and it’s a good idea to mix in plenty of compost to keep the soil soft and nutrient-rich.
Light: Full sun.
Fertilize: Eggplants are heavy feeders, so use a balanced 10-10-10 liquid fertilizer every two weeks to keep them producing. This is a relative to tomato plants, so if you have tomato fertilizer, this works well, too.
Harvest: Eggplant harvesting is all about the timing—too soon, and they won’t be fully developed, but if you harvest too late, they’ll turn bitter. To know when the time is right, look for glossy skins. If the eggplant is shiny, and if you can press it gently with a fingertip without leaving a dent, then it’s ready. Snip it away from the plant with pruning shears.
Notes: Many eggplant varieties bear very large fruits, so it’s best to stake these plants to keep them from toppling over.