We live near Vancouver, BC and have been trying to grow eggplants for the
last two summers. First year nothing and last year we had one eggplant on
Does anybody know of a good variety to grow in a Northern climate? I'm
ready to order seeds and want to try something new. We're hoping for a
warmer summer this year (the last two were milder than normal) so that
Any hints on growing them would be appreciated also. The wife read a lot
about them last year and we tried some different methods of growing - but
to no luck (well, maybe a little luck - the one edible eggplant gave me
hope for this year!).
I am not familiar with the Vancouver climate other than despite being
maritime it is somewhat chilly. Eggplant like a long, hot, sunny growing
season. According to wikipedia the four warmest months have temperatures
ranging from about 11C to 22C. I would say unless you can arrange a warmer
microclimate there is no chance of raising healthy eggplants. Also I would
start the seeds indoors or in your hothouse and transplant when it warms up
to give the plants the best chance of a long growing season.
I'd agree with everything that David said but in addition I would add that
they really need more heat for a longer time than tomatoes, so if you can
grow good tomatoes then you could still have problems with eggplants but it
could be possibile to grow them. I can grow good tomatoes but have had less
sucess with eggplants because of a short growing season. This year I'm
trying the smaller Labanese style tomatoes rather than the big ones. No
sign of fruit yet and the flowers are only just appearring but I've just
picked my first tomato for the season, so I'm hopeful that if we get an
extended Autumn, I might get some eggplants.
Thanks for all the suggestions. I've been told Territorial Seeds have
eggplant seedlings for sale in the next couple of months. It seems it's
quite difficult to grow from seeds. Anybody know if other seed companies
also grow eggplant seedlings?
Again - thanks for all the great ideas.
Quite difficult? No more difficult than peppers or tomatoes, and
much easier than some of the things I've tried growing from seed.
A little warmth until they sprout, and some supplemental light.
I start them indoors in early April, plant them out in very late May,
and they are easily the healthiest looking of all the plants I start
I've got a fluorescent light set up in a window that I set seed trays
on top of for bottom warmth, and used as a supplemental light
source after they sprout. (This isn't my main plant starting set-up,
but works just fine on a smaller scale.)
My best guess would be that you should try one of the small-fruited
varieties. "Fairy Tale" Hybrid is an All-America Selection, which means
it has been tested in a wide variety of growing locations. I prefer it
to "Hansel," another more recent AAS. "Twinkle" is another small
fruited variety, not as productive as "Fairy Tale" but a better texture.
My favorite eggplant is "Neon" but it has not been available through
my usual sources the last couple of years. It is an early and prolific
Tuck it up against a south- or south-west facing wall. Use a container to
follow the sun around or to allow you to get it up against a wall.
For instance, the warmest growing area in my yard would be along the
driveway right next to the house, where only potted plants could be
located. (BTW, "Fairy Tale" variety is well-suited to growing in containers.)
A small greenhouse or large cold-frame could also be used to grow
eggplants, so long as you have good temperature control.
The eggplant flowers in my garden are usually worked over by bumblebees.
They latch on to the flowers and give them a vigorous buzz to shake out
the pollen. In the absence of bumblebees, you would probably need to
act as a pollinator for your eggplants. (If you grow them under glass,
that's an absolute neccessity.)
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