Last warm season we grow 3 varieties of eggplant which are Early Long Purple, Lebanese and Bonica. Most of the plants were perennials as this was their second summer not first. Eggplants in our garden has this habit of starting to produce in December and then they will have about 2 months break when the weather is too hot for them to produce proper bloom. Our eggplants will start to produce again end of March. Surprisingly, we have harvest of eggplants up till middle of June (early winter) two years consecutively. Our eggplants and peppers are a bit weird likes to grow in cool weather, maybe the sun is more kinder to them? The only problem with this habit is it takes a long time to wait for the fruit to mature.
Early Long Purple
Early producer and prolific. Tolerates cooler condition good for cooler region. Long and medium size fruit. Cold hardy ( no frost) and can be treated as perennial in temperate region. A nice harvest on its second year although yield is slightly reduce. Since eggplants need a long time to grow and produce, the perennials will be the ones to produce earlier. If the weather permits by end October~ November. Can grow more than 1 metre tall. Need a very deep container to grow but won't give much produce compare to the one on the patch. If growing the plant in the container first year, can be transplanted on the patch in spring when the soil is warm. When the fruits is maturing or old the skin colour will become paler. Can be a bit bitter sometime depend on the fruit maturity stage during harvest. We had too much of this eggplants when we grow them for the first time (7plants), many times we share it with neighbour and friends. Photo taken from the eggplant second summer.
We only have one plant and this is the plant second summer. It was growing in a small pot during its first summer and through winter near the house wall. I know I treated it badly on its first year and I still remember it gave us only 3 eggplants. Very drought-hardy, can you imagine with a small pot and the sun blazing with the temperature 40+ degree Celsius for a week many times in summer it can survive. To make amends, I transplanted this eggplant on the most sunny spot in the veggie patch in spring. This eggplant grow twice its previous height and has given us at least 20 eggplants. At the moment it still have fruits on it and more blooms this week. I am thinking of pulling up this plant to make space for cool season veggies but I reckon I should be patient and wait until it stop fruiting. Especially now when I can't be very picky as they are not much veggies to be harvested at the moment. It will at least fill in the gap. Lebanese eggplant skin are more deep purple and much more firmer when it is cooked compared with Early Long Purple. Not bitter.
Seedling that we bought from Bunnings last spring, I wanted to try growing this big oval shape eggplant. I must admit I still like the long finger shape ones rather than the big oval shape eggplant. I am going to keep this plant for next summer and see how it will fare through winter. Hopefully the geranium plant growing next to it will be a good wind break. A very big plant.
Eggplants grow well together with capsicum.
What is your favourite eggplant variety?