Like to grow eggplant but not as thrilled with the associated diseases many classic Italian varieties are prone to? Try growing Black Bell eggplants. What is a Black Bell eggplant? Keep reading to learn how to grow the eggplant variety ‘Black Bell’ and other Black Bell eggplant info.
What is a Black Bell Eggplant?
The eggplant variety ‘Black Bell’ is an Italian type of eggplant with the classic oval-pear shape and glossy purple-black skin. The fruit is generally about 4-6 inches (10-15 cm.) in length. The overall mature plant size is about 3-4 feet (around a meter) in height and 12-16 inches (30-41 cm.) across.
Black Bell is a hybrid eggplant that is pretty much like the heirloom Black Beauty in appearance, taste and texture, although it does produce a bit earlier. What it has that the classic Black Beauty is lacking is better disease resistance.
Growing Black Bell Eggplants
Black Bell eggplant can be planted in USDA hardiness zones 5-11. Start seeds inside 6-8 weeks before planting outside. Germination should occur within 10-14 days.
A week before transplanting outdoors, harden the seedlings off by gradually increasing their time outside. Space the transplants about 24-36 inches (61-91 cm.) apart in an area of full sun (at least 6 hours per day) in fertile, well-draining soil.
Stake the plant early in the season to provide support for the large fruit and keep the plants consistently watered. Fruit should be ready for harvest within 58-72 days.