Eggplant

Five varieties of eggplant were grown at the Horticulture Research Center (HRC) outside of Fort Collins, Colorado during the 2004 growing season. Transplants were started in the greenhouse on April 1st. Seeds were planted into 72-cell trays filled with Sunshine No. 3 brand soil mix and topped with vermiculite to aid in keeping the seeds moist. Seedlings were fertilized once a week with fish emulsion fertilizer fed through an injector. Twenty-five to thirty plants of each variety were transplanted at the HRC on May 26th into black plastic mulch on beds with 30″ centers, in a double row at 18″ spacing with one line of drip tape. Plastic hoops were used to support row cover from transplanting time until mid-July. See our page row covers and plasticulture. Below are photos, yield data, and production notes for each of the varieties.

A greater and greater diversity of eggplant cultivars allow market farmers to offer a beautiful array for sale. Production is generally quite high,and it is an easy to grow crop. Good fertility and consistent irrigation result in good quality yields. Sunscald, especially on the oriental types is significant, especially in later production. Our transplants suffered from flea beetle damage but were able to grow through it.

Photo
Variety
Yield
Production Notes
Black Bell

0.62 lbs./fruit

5.0 lbs./plant

97% germination, better leaf cover so fruits did not suffer as much hail damage as the Japanese eggplant, 64 days to first harvest from transplanting
Calliope

0.22 lbs./fruit

3.5 lbs./plant

100% germination, better leaf cover so fruits did not suffer as much hail damage as Japanese eggplant, tough eggplant though, not as tasty, 70 days to first harvest from transplanting
Orient Express

0.19 lbs./fruit

2.0 lbs./plant

97% germination, didn’t fair well in hail, not much leaf cover, 64 days to first harvest from transplanting
Orient Charm

0.16 lbs./fruit

1.7 lbs./plant

93% germination, didn’t fair well in hail, not much leaf cover, pretty fruits, 64 days to first harvest from transplanting
Fairy Tale

0.06 lbs./fruit

0.6 lbs/plant

nice little fruits, no seedy pith, productive, very small plant (see photo below), 99 days to first harvest from transplanting

The following graph displays the marketable cumulative pounds of eggplant harvested per plant for 2004.

The following graphs display the pounds of eggplant harvested per plant over the 2004 growing season showing seasonal peaks for each of the different types of eggplant:

Short Fairy Tale plants in foreground, taller Calliope plants behind .

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