Eggplant, Black Beauty

 Black Beauty Eggplant

Heirloom. Organic. Over 100 years old, this 1902 Burpee introduction remains a standard worldwide for large-fruited black eggplant. It was an immediate hit because the plants ripened perfect fruits dramatically earlier than other varieties. It became the common market eggplant of today. Harvested fresh, however, makes all the difference. Tender, tasty purplish-black fruits are great in a variety of dishes. Excellent breaded or fried. This time-tested, open-pollinated heirloom is the standard for big eggplant. Eggplants love warm weather but are damaged by cold. Plants produce 4 to 6 large fruit, or more if kept harvested and well watered. Makes a good "boat" for stuffing. For best quality, harvest before its glossy, dark skin begins fading to dull purple. To determine ripeness, just remember that skin color and tone (glossy versus dull) is more important than size of the fruit. Easy to grow. Keeps well. Space transplants 24 to 36 inches apart in rows 3 to 4 feet apart.

Planting Black Beauty Eggplant While starting seeds of the Black Beauty Eggplant is not necessarily difficult, the right conditions will make the process successful.  Most gardeners sow Black Beauty Eggplant Seeds directly in the ground in the spring when the threat of frost has passed or start in containers one to two weeks before transplanting into soil. Keep the ground moist but not wet for the first couple of weeks. Pick a sunny, well-drained spot for planting for the best performance. Prefers a well-drained fertile soil in a sunny position.  Heirloom / Open Pollinated Black Beauty Eggplant are cool weather loving plants that prefer well drained loose soil and an even amount of water. Plant heirloom Black Beauty Eggplant in rows or hills but make sure the soil is well warmed. In cooler climates, you can start Black Beauty Eggplant seeds indoors 2 wks. before last frost to extend the growing season. Plant seeds 1/2" deep. Plant seeds or set out Black Beauty Eggplant transplants in full sun. For rows plant 24-36" apart, in rows 3-4' apart. Germination should occur in 5-10 days in soil 70-85°F. 

In rows thin plants to or set out transplants 24-36" apart. Height: 2-3 Feet tall   Spacing: 24-36" inches, 3-4 feet between rows Depth: 1/2  inch Germination: 5-10 days

Starting from Seed Indoors

Generally, the time to start your seeds is about 2 weeks before the last expected spring frost date in your area, planting the seedlings outdoors about 2 weeks after that date. Another way to figure is to plan on setting out sturdy seedlings in the garden when night temperatures stay in the mid-50 degree range both day and night. Count back and sow seeds 2 weeks before that date normally arrives. Place a few seeds (5 to 10) into each pot and push them into the soil with your finger. Cover the seeds to a depth of approximately 1/2 inches of the potting mix. Mist each  pot with water until the soil appears moist. Place the pots in an area which will provide both light (which is required for germination) and heat, preferably about 65 to 70 degrees F and at least 8 hours of light each day. Check on the seeds every day and keep the seeds damp but not drenched by misting with your plant mister. You should see sprouting in about 5 to 10 days. Once your seedlings have reached about 1 to 2 inches in height, choose an area in your garden to transfer them. You can also use containers like barrels or clay pots. Dig holes twice the width and depth of each of your pots. Fill up each hole with water then let it drain off. Place a pot in the hole center and level so that your seedling is at the same level as the surrounding soil. Push dirt in carefully all the way to fill the hole back up. Water each seedling carefully so as not to soak the leaves or stem.

Direct-seeding into the Garden

Turn over the area you've selected to a depth of approximately 1/2 inches. Rake the area until it's level and smooth. Water the area until the soil is damp but not saturated. Scatter the seeds in the area. Gently rake the area to distribute the seeds further and protect them from birds. Or, press the seeds into the soil and cover with no more than 1/2 inches of soil. You can also place 2 to 3 seeds every 3 to 4 inches in rows approximately 8-12 inches apart, and cover seeds with 1/2 inches of soil. Place planting stakes around the area so you will know where to water. Check on your seeds about once a day. Make sure to mist the soil whenever it appears dry. Germination for the Eggplant plants is approximately 5 to 10 days, depending on the warmth of the soil. Some gardeners like to plant the eggplants in small hills. 

Germination Problems

Growing plants from seeds successfully depends on a lot of factors and this makes it impossible to guarantee success on every batch of seeds planted.  Factors include, soil composition, PH, temperature, moisture levels, seed depth, soil density, seed viability, seed storage and many others.  We tested the germination of all our seeds and this seed variety is around 80%, but your results may vary based on exactly how you plant and all the environmental factors.  Good luck. Triangle Partners