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Eggplant check

Eggplant seedlings about 10 days old

Around 10 days since they first appeared, a little over two weeks from when they were seeded, and the eggplant are doing fine. A few of them already sport the tiniest first true leaf. I imagine they’re as hungry for light as any of the veggies, but eggplant are a little more restrained than some others when it comes to stretching: where every millimeter farther from the light counts, there’s not that much difference between the edge of the tray and the center. It’s kind of intense, the little details you track when you’re raising seedlings under fluorescent lights. Even the eggplant lean isn’t too extreme… These are two of the three 72-cell trays of eggplant for this year. Off in the distance, it’s PEPPERS!



  1. Thank you for posting this, as my eggplant seedlings seem to be in about the same place at this point growth-wise: looks the same height and *just* the tiniest hint of the first true leaves.  Question for you, when do you transplant, and how deeply do you put the seedling in the new dirt?

  2. Mangochild: I’m all over the place when it comes to starting container size, potting up and final transplanting to the field. Every year is quite different, with the number of starts, timing, when the greenhouse/weather is ready… I may start a crop in flats one time, 200, 128 or 72-cell plug sheets another, pot up 72 to 38-cells, or 72 to 3″ pots. Depends on when in the season it is, which crop, how much space I have.  Six seasons of this isn’t enough to really keep track consciously, and a million notes doesn’t work for me, so I still kinda figure it out as I go… And that’s seemed to work out OK.

    As a general rule, though, I try not to let a seedling’s leaves spread beyond the size of its container, keep them from overlapping with their neighbors. Though that happens a lot, too. And I’ll always replant them a little deeper than they were. Except for tomatoes, of course, they go deep as possible, because they’ll develop roots anywhere on their stems.

    Carrie: I should translate everything, the way I do Imperial and metric: the eggplant (aubergine) are looking good! A few days ago, I started reading a cool book called Growing Green, written in the UK. I kept running into this word, “ley.” I understood it from context, but kept wondering, what is this LEY exactly? So when I read your comment, I finally looked it up: grassland, meadow, pasture. Why didn’t they just say that?!

  3. Eco-friendly insecticides

    I have had the same eggplant specimens for the last 3 years. I use a natural horticultural oil enhanced with a botanical insecticide/fungicide. I literally have harvested hundreds of eggplants from the 4 plants I have. You should check out the product in the link. I will keep your plants healthy for as long as possible.

  4. Suzanne

    Thank you for helping me identify the “mystery” seedlings that popped up in my herb garden. NOW I recall throwing a small eggplant that didn’t do so well in there last year. I’m wondering if they’ll actually produce? The leaves start out long & slender, then gradually become more rounded.

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