It takes white eggplants between 75 and 95 days to grow properly. It is also important to mention that in order for the eggplant to grow effectively, it will need to do so in the right temperature and that is between 68 to 78 degrees F. There is little difference between a white and a purple eggplant apart from the skin color, the main reason for their difference is because of the way they are grown.
About White Eggplants
The eggplant is a member of the nightshade family and they are native to Pakistan and India. They were first domesticated and cultivated approximately 4000 years ago. The first time that eggplants were crossbred was in China, they did so for the purpose of variety in color and shape, they were very popular and as a result, eggplants became known around the world. Back then, the most popular type was the black and purple variety; however, white eggplants are most popular today.
The Soil and Growth Season For White Egg Plants
The best time to start growing white eggplants is during the spring when the temperatures in the evening get to 68 degrees F. It is essential that you plant eggplants in the right soil, if you really want them to grow properly. You should start by adding organic substances such as manure, seasoned compost, or fertilizer. The best fertilizer to use is the 10-10-10 balanced type. You will also need to spread a two to four-inch layer of organic matter over the garden. Another alternative is for each fifty square foot of the garden, use half to one pound of fertilizer. You can also prepare the soil for planting by loosening the soil by digging in the amendments into the top eight to twelve inches of the garden bed.
Growing Your Eggplants From Starts or Seeds
You can either use seeds or starts to grow your eggplants. The seeds for white eggplants are only available for purchase from seed companies. Start seeds must be planted indoors to begin. You will need to plant them in seed flats approximately 6 to 8 weeks before you plant them outside. The eggplant seeds should be planted one-quarter inch deep. The seeds grow their best when the temperature is between seventy-five and eighty-five degrees F. You can use a seed heating pad to regulate the soil temperature and so that the bottom of the seeds are heated.
It takes between seven to fourteen days for eggplant seeds to start germinating. It is important that they have enough moisture during this time, the soil should be damp at all times, you will need to make sure you do not over saturate the soil.
In terms of the starts transplanting process, you will need to make sure that the plants are between eighteen to twenty-four inches apart. They should also be around six to eight inches in height before you transplant them.
Caring For Your Eggplants During the Growing Season
It is essential that your eggplants are not just left to grow, you will need to be very strategic in caring for them to ensure they grow properly. The best conditions to grow healthy eggplants are in soil that is always moist, and beaming sunlight for a minimum of six hours per day.
You will need to water the eggplants at least once a week with a slow, deep watering, when the weather is dry, you will need to do this more often. However, if the weather is hot and the soil starts to dry out, you will need to add additional water. If your soil was amended before planting, there is no need to give the soil any extra fertilizer.
As soon as the transplanting begins, you will need to mulch the eggplants immediately. If you notice that there are any weeds growing around them, you will need to pull them out by hand, and make sure you do so gently. It is essential that you weed, if not they will outgrow the eggplants until the weather gets a bit warmer. However, when the weather gets warmer you can use mulch of compost or straw to protect the eggplants. You will also need to interplant an early crop between the transplants, lettuce is a good vegetable to use. Pinch off the first set of flowers that start growing. As well as helping the plant develop several fruiting branches, it will force the plant to focus on creating more roots and leaves as oppposed to one large fruit. Use bamboo poles to keep the plants from flopping, this will ensure that they remain upright.
White Eggplant Varieties
There are many white eggplant varieties, some of them are more popular than others, but they are all well loved:
- Snowy White: Medium sized and oval in shape
- Gretal: Small to medium in size and round in shape
- Bride: Long and slender, white to rose in color
- Little Spooky: Thin and long, curved and thin in shape, pure white in color
- Japaneese White Egg: Medium in size, round in shape and pure white in color
Problems With White Eggplants
Flea beetles will completely destroy your white eggplants, so you will need to make sure they stay well away from them. You can avoid this problem by dusting the foliage with kaolin clay (make sure you put this back on after it rains), you can also use a floating row cover. In the unfortunate event that the plants get infested with flea beetles, you can spray them with spinosad of Beauveria Bassiana. Another way to avoid flea beetles is to keep the plants inside until the beginning of summer.
Verticillium wilt is the most common eggplant disease, you can avoid this by rotating the crops and by planting resistant cultivators. Floating row covers were mentioned earlier, it is important to note that when this is done right after eggplants have been planted, it not only protects them from insects, it also provides additional heat which is beneficial for the plants.
You can successfully grow your own eggplants in the right timeframe, if you care for them in the right way during the growing season. As you are probably aware, eggplants are delicious, so it is well worth the investment.