People who enjoy growing vegetables may want to plant eggplant seeds. When doing so, it is important to use fresh seed because ones that are too old may not germinate. Planting in the right location is also important because growing eggplant should be done in an area with full sun and well-drained soil. The seeds should be placed around ¼ to ½ inch (0.64 to 1.28 cm) in the ground and watered lightly. Gardeners should continue to water them regularly throughout the growing season, occasionally adding compost or manure to enrich the soil is also a good idea.
When growing eggplant, it is important to use fresh seeds. Typically, those that are less than one year old are best, but gardeners may also have success using eggplant seeds that are two to three years old. Those that are older than this should be discarded because they probably will not germinate when placed in the soil. People who are unsure how old the seeds are should ask the dealer about this before making a purchase.
Eggplant seeds cannot tolerate frost, so it is important to plant them when the soil is warm. They may also be started in indoor containers around six to eight weeks before the last frost in order to stretch the growing season. Gardeners should check with their local extension office to find out when the best time to plant vegetables is in their area.
Growing eggplant requires the proper location and type of soil. An area that receives at least eight hours of sunlight a day is preferred because eggplant seeds generally do not germinate when placed in the shade. This location should have soil with a pH of between 5.5 and 7.0, so growers may want to have the soil tested before planting. Organic material, such as cow manure or compost, can be added either just prior to placing the seeds in the ground or once the plants have become fully established.
Eggplant seeds do not need to be planted deeply, and in fact, this can cause them not to sprout. They may be placed in a very shallow hole or set on top of the ground and then watered to press them into the soil. Once they have been planted, it is important to keep them moist by watering them regularly. Most varieties will germinate in five to 13 days, and they can be harvested anywhere from 60 to 70 days after planting.