First time veggie gardener here. I planted a variety of veggies last
Spring and so far, so good. But I had never planted eggplant and
carrots and have no idea when I should pick them?
Do I need to actually see the eggplant and carrot before I pick them
or are can they be picked when they reach a certain size?
I planted in May and right now they are pretty big. The carrot plants
are at least 12-16 inches high and very full, but I do not see any
The eggplants are also very full but again, I see nothing
Help. I'd hate to lose great veggies because of ignorance on my part
*Carrots are roots, so you won't see them.
*Carrots can actually be harvested (pulled or dug up) at any time, but if
you do it too early, the carrot is too small to be worth eating.
*The carrot seed packet should tell you how many days it will take from seed
planting to maturity for that variety. Generally 55-75 days. Hopefully you
kept the seed packet and noted the date you planted the carrot seeds. :-)
*If not, guess when 60 days have passed since you planted, and check one of
the average sized plants. Feel around in the dirt, or scrape a little dirt
away from the base of a carrot plant until you find the root. If it seems
big enough, pull it and see. If not, replace the dirt, wait a week and try
*You don't have to harvest them all at the same time; you can pull them as
you need them. Most varieties keep pretty well in the ground, especially
during cool weather.
*Eggplants are fruits. The plants will produce blossoms (usually purple). If
a blossom is pollinated, a fruit will form where the blossom was. If the
blossom is not pollinated, it will simply fall off and there will be no
* Are your plants blooming? If not, and the plants seem healthy and are
growing well, the plants may not simply not be mature enough to bloom yet.
Eggplants need a long growing season, preferably with lots of hot weather
and plenty of sun. They are heavy feeders, too.
*If your plants are blooming, but there is no fruit forming, your blossoms
are probably not getting pollinated. Pollination is usually accomplished by
bees. If there are no bees, or they can't get to your plants, you can try
hand-pollinating by moving pollen from flower to flower with very soft
*Eggplants can be picked at any size, so pick them when you think they are
big enough. If the skin starts to get dull, the fruit is getting too ripe.
Pick it and either eat it or discard it. Leaving ripe fruit on the plant
will discourage future fruit production.
*The fruits may not get as big as the seed packet advertises, if the plant
has too many fruits forming at once. If you really want big fruits, allow no
more than 4 fruits to be on each plant at any time, by pinching off blossoms
and new fruit. (This is more necessary for the big round varieties; thinning
is not usually necessary on the long or miniature varieities). But unless
you really need the fruit to be big for stuffing or showing off, I wouldn't
bother. Small eggplants are just as tasty. :-)
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