One of the most popular Japanese eggplant hybrids sold in markets. This variety is an extra early, productive, and upright grower. The brilliant black-purple fruit is long, growing to over 8" in length. The skin is particularly soft, and the interior flesh is nearly seedless.
Eggplants grow into tall, angular plants, so they should be spaced 24 to 36 inches apart. Improve planting holes by mixing in 2 inches of compost to help hold moisture and fertilizer in the soil. Set plants at the same depth at which they are growing in their containers, and water well before spreading mulch.
Plants that receive inadequate water will develop small, bitter fruit. Keep eggplant happy with at least an inch of water per week, and up to two inches during the hottest stretch of summer. If it has rained any less than an inch in a week’s time, make up the difference with supplemental irrigation.
Without a doubt, the No.1 pest of eggplant is the flea beetle — small black or bronze jumping leaf beetles, just an eighth of an inch long. These fast-moving pests chew pin-sized holes in the leaves. Plants are most prone to attack when the leaves are young and tender. By summer, the plants will be big and strong enough to shrug off flea beetle damage, and the pests’ presence then should not raise concerns.
The best natural defense is to cover your plants from the moment you put them in the ground with row cover. You can find it at some garden centers and always online. Another strategy is to plant a trap crop of radishes, which flea beetles prefer over eggplant.