Save time and garden space by growing eggplants in containers! Here’s how to do it…
Eggplants can be big old space hogs in the garden, so if you don’t have a lot of garden space, growing them in containers can be a great option. Not only will you save garden space, but the soil in the pot will warm faster, so if you have a shorter growing season, you may be able to get more production from your eggplants in containers.
Pretty much any variety of eggplant will grow well in a container. If you have a small patio, you may try the smaller “Patio Baby” variety, but the slender and tender Asian varieties (my favorite!) as well as big and beautiful “Black Beauty” should also do just fine.
Here are a few tips from Rodale’s Organic Life for growing eggplants in containers:
1.) You will want to start with a good-sized pot – approximately the size of a 5-gallon bucket. Make sure your container has drainage holes in the bottom, then fill with organic potting soil and compost in a 1-1 ratio.
2.) You can buy seedlings from a nursery or garden center, or plant from seeds which will give you a wider selection of varieties. Keep in mind that planting from seed will add a few extra weeks to your time frame as eggplants are slow-growing seedlings like peppers and tomatoes.
3.) Place your containers in a spot where they get full sun, and water whenever the top 1/2″ of soil becomes dry.
4.) Harvest your eggplants using pruning shears (those stems are tough!), and keep in mind that over-ripe eggplants can get seedy and bitter. Slightly immature eggplants have a better flavor and texture, so pick them on the early side.