As a beginning gardener, one of the most exciting aspects of planning a vegetable garden is the hope of growing one’s favorite foods. Homegrown crops, such as eggplants, offer growers harvests of high quality, delectable produce. However, for some, the process of learning to grow these crops may feel somewhat intimidating. Luckily, with some basic growing knowledge, even novice growers are able to reap the benefits of their hard work in the garden. Read on for tips on growing Black Beauty eggplants.
What is a Black Beauty Eggplant?
As one of the most popular cultivars, Black Beauty eggplant info abounds. Dating back to the early 1900s, this variety of open-pollinated and heirloom eggplant has been a favorite for vegetable gardeners throughout decades.
When picked at peak maturity, these large glossy fruits offer impressive yields. Early to mature, Black Beauty eggplants are a well-suited option for those with shorter growing seasons. Additionally, compact and upright plants make them an ideal candidate for container culture.
How to Grow a Black Beauty Eggplant
The process of growing Black Beauty eggplant is very similar to that of growing other varieties of eggplant. First, growers will need to obtain seedlings for transplant into the garden or a package of seed. Since Black Beauty is very popular, it is likely that growers will be able to find these plants at local garden centers.
Eggplants thrive in warm weather and will not tolerate frost. Transplants should not be planted into the garden until all chance of frost has passed. Due to their long growing season and initial slow growth, Black Beauty seed should be started indoors at least 8-10 weeks before the average last frost date.
To sow, fill the trays with seed starting mix. Add one or two seeds to each cell in the seed tray. Place the tray in a warm location and keep it consistently moist until germination takes place. This may take several weeks. For many, germination may be improved with the help of a seed starting warming mat. Once the seeds have germinated, grow them in a sunny window or with grow lights until time to harden off the plants and transplant outdoors.
Select a well-draining and amended garden bed which receives full sunlight or plant in a deep container. Beyond planting, ensure that the area remains weed free. Consistent and frequent watering throughout the season will also help to ensure even growth from plants. Growers living in cooler summer areas may benefit from the use of black landscape fabrics and row covers, as eggplants require a very warm summer climate.