Eggplant (Solanum melongena)
Eggplant loves the heat. Near freezing night temperatures during the spring can set back plants and ruin a season’s crop, which makes it a marginal crop in our locale. Eggplants are primarily self-pollinated so 50’ isolation is adequate. Flea beetles can be an issue early in the season and fusarium is a pathogen that can build up in soils or from poor seed. Fruits should be harvested past maturity prior to a hard frost. The fruits should have changed color to yellow or brown and be quite hard. Fruits should be post-harvest ripened to maximize seed vigor. Seeds are easily extracted by immersing fruit in a bowl of water and squeezing out the seeds. The viable seeds will sink.