When to Sow Eggplant Seeds
Sow eggplant seeds in cell packs or small pots, one fourth inch deep. Water them well,
cover loosely with a plastic bag or a plastic seedling flat cover to retain moisture,
and place them in a warm spot -- on top of the refrigerator or on seedling heat mats
would be perfect. Keep the soil moist. You should see condensation on the inside of
your plastic bag or dome. If you don't, then it's time to water with a gentle mist to
avoid dislodging the seeds. The seeds will germinate without additional heat, but it will take longer.
Generally, eggplant seeds germinate in 7 to 14 days. Once they've germinated, remove the plastic
cover and place your pot or flat under lights or in a bright window.
Caring for Eggplant Seedlings
Continue to keep your eggplant seedlings moist as they grow for the next eight to ten weeks.
Be vigilant for any signs of pests or diseases. Most seedling pests can be controlled organically
with insecticidal soap. If you're concerned about damping off, try watering your eggplant seedlings
regularly (about once per week) with a chamomile tea solution. When they have their first set of true
leaves, it's time to start fertilizing. Start fertilizing with a very dilute (one fourth the recommended
amount on the label) solution of fish emulsion or kelp. You can also fertilize your seedlings with vermicompost
tea. Simply dilute your vermicompost tea until it is a very, very light brown, then water with it. Fertilize your
seedlings with this dilute solution every week or so.
You may need to transplant your eggplant seedlings into larger containers before it's time to move them outside.
Simply place them into pots that are an inch or two larger than the ones they're growing in. You can use potting
soil, or the same mix you used when you started the seeds.
Once soil temperatures reach 60 degrees F, it's time to start hardening your eggplant seedlings off and get them
planted in the garden
Starting eggplant from seed takes a bit of effort, but it is so rewarding to put together an eggplant Parmesan or a
plate of grilled eggplant later in the summer, from plants that grew from seeds you sowed yourself.er long!