The beautiful purple Italian eggplant is, indeed, delicious but how about mixing it up a bit and growing Clara eggplant? The following article contains Clara eggplant info regarding how to grow Clara eggplants.
What is Clara Eggplant?
The eggplant variety, Clara, is an Italian hybrid that produces gorgeous, brilliantly white fruit offset by a bright green calyx. The oval-shaped fruit grows to around 6 or 7 inches (15-18 cm.) in length by 4 or 5 inches (10-13 cm.) across.
Clara eggplant is an early season crop that matures in approximately 65 days. Since Clara eggplant has thin skin, it is best suited for the home garden, as the delicate exterior bruises easily during shipping. This cultivar is a high yielder and the vigorous plants have few spines.
How to Grow Clara Eggplants
Eggplant is a warm season annual. Clara eggplant should be sown in flats in the early spring or 6-8 weeks before planting outside. Soil temperatures for germination should be between 80-90 F. (27-32 C.) and at least 70 F. (21 C.) thereafter.
Eggplant requires well-drained, fertile soil with a pH of 6.2 to 6.8. Sow seeds shallowly and barely cover with soil. Keep the flats moist and warm. When the first true sets of leaves appear, thin the seedlings to 2to 3 inches (5-8 cm.) apart.
Harden the seedlings off for a week prior to transplanting them by gradually introducing them to outdoor temperatures. Transplant them outside in late spring or early summer when soil temperatures have warmed and all danger of frost has passed for your area. Space the plants 18 inches (46 cm.) apart in rows that are 30 to 36 inches (76-91 cm.) apart.
When growing Clara eggplant, or really any eggplant, stake the plants to support the heavy fruit. Cover the plants with a row cover to help retard insects, specifically flea beetles and Colorado potato beetles. Once the plants reach the cover or when they begin to bloom, remove the row cover but maintain a close eye for any insect infestations.
Harvest the fruit with sharp shears and pick regularly to encourage additional fruit production. Practice a four to five year crop rotation to avoid verticillium wilt on not only eggplant, but any other Solanaceae crops.