Many people have taken to growing their own food to control their food budget or to ensure there are no pesticides, insecticides or any other type of chemicals used in commercial farming. Eggplant is a wonderful vegetable, it makes a great substitute for meat and it is a beautiful plant. Each plant will produce three to six eggplants. Patio container gardening is a great alternative to traditional gardening for many people ranging from those who want to keep a small garden under control to those who use the patio containers as decoration for their yard to those who simply do not have the room for a traditional garden. Eggplants can be grown on patios, porches, decks or wherever you choose to place the containers. Patio containers can be found in many styles, colors and prices which will allow you to let your personality show.
Choosing a Spot for Eggplant
Eggplants love the heat and sun so choose a spot in your yard, on a deck, porch or patio with full sun.
Choosing the Right Container
Choose a patio container that is about 12 to 18 inches across and at least 12 inches deep.
Plastic, terra cotta, lined concrete or wood containers are all acceptable choices.
Preparing the Patio Container for Eggplant
You can buy commercially available potting soil or you can mix the soil from your yard with compost.
Planting the Eggplant
Plant one Eggplant plant in center of each patio container.
Eggplants will not do well in overcrowded conditions so limit each container to just one plant.
It will take 2 to 2 1/2 months for the plant to produce eggplants.
Wait to plant until nighttime temperatures are consistently above 60°. If you plan on growing eggplants from seed, wait until the soil reaches a temperature of 70° to 75°.
If the seeds are planted before the soil reaches that temperature consistently, the seeds will not sprout.
Eggplant seeds can be started indoors anywhere from three to six weeks before the planting season in your area.
Caring for the Plants
Add a layer of compost every 3 to 4 weeks during the growing season.
Water eggplant plants regularly.
Do not let the soil dry out completely. if the soil dries out completely and the plant begins to wilt, it may not produce any eggplants.
Eggplants are ready to be picked when they turn a shiny, dark purple.
Snip the eggplants off at the stem and use them within one week or sooner because eggplants do not have a long shelf life.
Eggplant is very low in calories and is very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol.
It is also a good source of Vitamin K, Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Potassium and Manganese.
Eggplant is also a very good source of Fiber.
Eggplant can be cut and fried, baked or boiled and served hot or cold.