If you want to learn how to grow and pick white eggplants, you’re reading the right article. Unlike their purple counterpart, white eggplants come in white or ivory colors.
Anyone who isn’t familiar with this variant would be curious to know how to grow and pick them. The process for both is quite similar to inspecting purple eggplants. You check their skin, texture, and color to see if they’re ripe enough. To give you a better idea, read on.
Preparing the Soil
White eggplants take two and a half to three months before they’re mature enough to harvest. The best time to start planting white eggplants is when the temperatures increase to 68 degrees F during the spring season.
The key to growing healthy white eggplants is planting them in good soil. You can add organic material to your soil like compost or manure and spread a layer over your garden bed or containers. Till the soil to loosen it up before sowing your white eggplant seeds.
Sowing and Caring for Seeds
There are two ways to plant white eggplants – growing from seeds or starts. Unlike purple eggplants, you can’t buy white eggplant starts at nurseries. Most of the time, you can buy them directly from seed companies.
It’s best to start your seeds indoors – around six to eight weeks before you transplant them into your garden. Plant the white eggplant seeds a quarter-inch deep into the soil. White eggplants grow best if the soil temperature is around 75 to 85 degrees F.
If you live in cooler areas, you can use a seed heating pad to maintain the ideal soil temperature. It usually takes about two weeks for your white eggplant seeds to germinate.
Both seeds and seedlings need damp and moist soil, but make sure that it isn’t soggy. You can transplant the seedlings into your garden bed when they’re at least six inches tall.
How to Identify Ripe White Eggplants
The best time to pick white eggplants is right before they become fully matured. If you wait until the eggplants reach full maturity, before picking them, you’ll reap bitter and spongy eggplants.
Young white eggplants are sweeter, more tender, and tastier. You can identify them by checking their skin. They turn into white or cream-colored eggplants with glossy and firm skin. To see if it’s firm enough, slightly press the eggplant with your finger. If it leaves a dent, then it’s firm enough and ready to harvest.
If you want to be surer, you can pick on white eggplant and cut it open. The seeds inside should be white or ivory. Darker seeds and yellowing skin are a sign of over-ripeness.
How to Pick White Eggplants
After seeing that your eggplants are ripe, it’s time to start harvesting. You’ll need your gardening gloves and your gardening shears.
To harvest your fruit, hold the white eggplant in one hand and cut the stem above the eggplant using your shears. Make sure to leave a part of the stem attached to the fruit because if you expose them to the air, your eggplant’s skin will turn brown. Often check your eggplants for harvest and pick ripe fruit as often as you need to. This practice encourages new growth throughout the entire eggplant growing season.
Why Plant Your White Eggplants in a Mini Greenhouse?
Growing white eggplants in a mini greenhouse have a ton of benefits. Gardeners can enjoy the following benefits of greenhouse gardening:
Protection from insects and pests
As with other tender crops, white eggplants attract different types of harmful insects, including flea beetles, spider mites, and green peach aphids. These insects can infest your fruits, eat your leaves, and negatively affect younger plants. Keeping them inside an enclosed space lowers the risk of attracting these harmful insects. But even if your plants are inside the greenhouse, inspect them regularly using a magnifying glass for signs of infestation.
Shield your plants from bad weather conditions
Storm, heavy rain, blizzards, and high winds can easily destroy your garden beds. Bad weather conditions can instantly wipe out months of hard work. If you live in areas with unpredictable weather conditions, the best way to protect your plants is by placing them inside a greenhouse. They’ll be able to grow healthily regardless of outdoor weather conditions.
Place them anywhere
Mini greenhouses are ideal for gardeners with limited growing space. The standard size of a small greenhouse is around six square feet, but there are more compact options. You can place your greenhouse kits on balconies, decks, patios, and even on tabletops.
Start your growing season early
A mini greenhouse lets you grow white eggplants all year round. You can start planting different types of fruits and vegetables even before the cold season begins. If you want, you can transplant your white eggplants into your garden once the weather is warm enough.
Final Thoughts on How to Grow and Pick White Eggplants
Knowing how to grow and pick white eggplants is the key to a sweet and tender harvest. As mentioned, don’t wait until your white eggplants are fully grown! Younger eggplants have more flavor compared to their mature counterparts. Additionally, by growing these fruits inside a mini greenhouse, you’ll be able to enjoy white eggplants all year round.