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A widely used international food thought to have originated in Japan, eggplant is fast becoming a favorite in the U.S. This long, slender variety, not usually found in grocery stores, is flavorsome in countless recipes from Italy to China to Russia and beyond. Also called 'Italian Long Purple', this prolific heirloom will bring beautiful color to the garden and savory goodness to the table.

Botanical Name: Solanum melongena
Days to Maturity: 70–80 days from transplanting
Family: Solanaceae
Native: Asia
Hardiness: Perennial in tropical climates; grown as annual in climates other than those that are frost-free and very warm; very frost sensitive.
Plant Dimensions: 24″–36″ tall, 24″ wide
Variety Information: 8″–10″ long, 2″ wide; cylindrical, but slightly wider at bottom end, with smooth, glossy purple skin, and creamy interior.
Attributes: Good for Containers

When to Sow Outside: 2 to 4 weeks after your average last frost date, when soil temperature is at least 70°F, ideally 80°–90°F, and when outside night air temperature is above 60°F.
When to Start Inside: RECOMMENDED. 10 to 12 weeks before your average last frost date. Transplant outdoors 1 to 2 weeks after last frost, when soil temperature is at least 60°F, and outside night air temperature is above 60°F.
Days to Emerge: 10–20 days
Seed Depth: ¼”
Seed Spacing: Start indoors
Row Spacing: 36″
Thinning: Start indoors; plant 18″ apart outside

Harvesting: 'Long Purple' should be harvested when the fruit is no longer than 10″ and the skin is still shiny; can be harvested at baby size. If you are in doubt about maturity level, note that it's better to harvest eggplants a little young rather than wait until they are overly mature with dull skin, eventually possibly turning a golden color, with plentiful seeds, and bitter taste. To harvest, cut the stem with pruners. Plants will produce four or more fruits. Continual harvest will encourage more production.

This packet yields approximately 83 plants when started indoors. 100 seeds.