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Growing Eggplant in WA

Author

Baileys Fertiliser

Published

16 February 2021

Eggplants are part of the nightshade family along with tomatoes, capsicum, potatoes and chillies. The delicate flavour and versatility of this strange looking fruit make them a summer essential for every veggie patch.

Location

Eggplants like the heat and don't do well in long periods of cool weather making them an ideal fruit to grow in WA. Find a sunny spot and make sure you give them space to grow.

To reduce pest problems only grow eggplants in an area where the nightshade family have not been grown for the past 2 years.

Planting

Be generous with your planting compost, eggplants like rich, fertile soil. Eggplants grow into tall, angular plants so should be spaced 60 - 90cm apart. If growing in pots or tubs, choose Baileys Veg & Herb Premium Planting mix. If you are planting in the garden then amend the soil with generous quantities of Baileys Clay & Compost (for sandy soils) or Soil Improver Plus.

Mulching is vital through Summer, both for pots and garden beds. Add a 5 - 7cm layer of Baileys Moisture Mulch to reduce evaporation and protect topsoil.

Feeding & Maintenance

Baileys Soil Matters Garden contains all essential macro and micronutrients, and a biological coating which encourages strong root growth. Apply little and often, 25g a per square metre every 3 weeks and water in immediately.

Newly transplanted seedlings need regular light watering so they don't dry out during the first few weeks.  Once they are established, it pays to water infrequently but deeply to encourage deep foraging root development. Light frequent watering encourages a shallow root system, which can lead to moisture stress problems in summer.

Just like tomatoes, eggplants will need a simple wooden stake for support.

Eggplants can be affected by fruit fly, for further info on how to tackle these pests read our blog - Fighting Fruit Fly. 

Harvest

Time to harvest is usually 10-14 weeks. Begin harvest when the fruit reaches full size and leaves a thumbprint when pressed firmly. Under-ripe eggplants are hard and bitter, overripe and your thumbprint will leave a bruise. Ideally use within 3 days of harvest.

Varieties

Eggplants or Aubergines come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Graffiti eggplant or Sicilian eggplant known for its white stripes. Italian eggplant, probably the most well-known. Fairy Tale eggplant lives up to its name and is no bigger than the palm of your hand. You may have also seen White eggplant, Japanese & Chinese eggplant and Little Green eggplant. 

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