Eggplant Black King Hybrid (10 seeds)
A fine hybrid eggplant from Takii in Japan, good for the main crop. A vigorous grower and high yielder suitable for both greenhouse and open-field cultivation. Resistant to excess heat. An early hybrid that is well suited for short growing seasons.
Eggplant appears to be a very ancient fruit; the earliest references to it can be found in Chinese and Indian records. Though usually considered a vegetable, botanists classify eggplant as a berry. Early varieties of eggplant were named for their resemblance to large white eggs; in Europe, eggplant is usually referred to as aubergine. In medieval times eggplant were called mad apples, because they were thought to induce insanity. Experimental horticulturist Thomas Jefferson included varieties of eggplant in his gardens; at the time, growers used eggplant mostly for decorative purposes. Regions of southern and eastern Asia especially appreciate the eggplant, naming it "king of vegetables" and making it a staple of their cuisine. In addition to the traditional purple pear-shape of Black Beauty, eggplant comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Black Beauty is one of the earliest and best known American varieties of eggplant, dating from the early 1900s.
Approximately 25 seeds per packet.
Start indoors 6-10 weeks before last frost. Sow ¼" deep on a heat mat until emergence and 21°C thereafter. Plant outdoors 18-24” apart 2 weeks after last frost. Plants reach 1’ height. 80 days.
SEED TO HARVEST GUIDE
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Solanum melongena, except where otherwise noted (S. gilo).
CULTURE: Eggplants require fertile, well-drained soil with a pH range of 6.2-6.8. Sow seed in flats indoors during early spring, or 6-8 weeks prior to planting outdoors. Sow 4 seeds/in., ¼" deep, and maintain soil temperature at 80-90°F (27-32°C) until emergence and 70°F (21°C) thereafter. Seed will not germinate in cool soil. After true leaves form, thin to 2-3" apart in flats or transplant into 2-3" pots or plug trays. To harden plants, reduce water and temperature to about 60°F (16°C) for about a week before planting out. Transplant outdoors late spring or early summer once the weather has thoroughly settled. Eggplants are tender, and cold weather may weaken them. Use row covers for a boost in performance and insect control. Remove when plants reach the covers or when blossoms first appear. Space transplants 18" apart in rows 30-36" apart, or 2 rows on plastic mulch, 18-24" between plants. It is important to be mindful of over-fertility. Too much nitrogen often results in large, bushy plants that produce only one small set of fruit.
STAKING: Eggplants may be pruned and staked to keep the fruits straight.
DISEASE: Practice lengthy crop rotation to avoid Verticillium wilt. A 4-5 year rotation for all Solanaceae crops is recommended.
INSECT PESTS: Fabric row covers are the recommended method of control for flea beetles and Colorado potato beetles (CPB) for newly set transplants. Once covers are removed, regularly check undersides of leaves and crush any orange egg masses of the CPB.
HARVEST: Clip fruit stem with shears. Pick fruits of desired size regularly to encourage further production.