Eggplant requires high temperatures, full sun and a rich, well drained soil. Seed started early takes 8 to 10 weeks to produce a suitable transplant. Eggplant is planted outside at the end of May. Space the plants at 24 to 30 inches in rows 24 to 30 inches apart. Give a light dusting of 5-10-5 over the planting area, even if the garden was fertilized. The plants should be well watered, especially when flowering.
Harvest large, shiny, uniformly purple fruits. To have vines continuously producing, keep mature fruits picked off. If seeds in the fruit have turned brown it will be of poor quality and past the edible stage. Heavy bearing will stress small plants, so thin to 3 to 4 fruits. Japanese eggplant is picked when it is finger to hot dog sized and before the flesh becomes tough and the seeds turn brown.
The first symptom of Blossom End Rot is a light colored, sunken, watersoaked spot near the bottom of the fruit. The spots enlarge and shrivel and may eventually cover a third of the fruit. Causes are high temperatures and low humidity or a low water supply when the fruit set.
Blossom drop can occur when night temperatures are higher than 78 and day temperatures are higher than 90 degrees. Fruit set will begin when the temperatures are more suitable. Drying winds may also be a factor.