When To Harvest Eggplant: How To Tell When Ready To Pick


When are eggplants ready to harvest in your garden? There’s really a bit of a challenge in identifying ripe eggplants (Solanum melangona) when they are just the right time to pick. If you pick them right, they taste wonderful but if you wait too long to pick them, they taste bitter.

Picking a young, tender, and slightly underripe eggplant is better than selecting one that is too old and bitter.

When the fruit is firm and glossy, eggplant is ready for harvesting. You should be able to feel the smoothness of the skin and see the green color of the stem. Use a sharp knife or pruning shears to cut the stem of your eggplant.

You will be able to harvest eggplants without splinters if you wear gloves when harvesting them.

The eggplant will keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator if you store it similarly to peppers. When stored with apples or tomatoes, eggplants will turn brown and decay as they are exposed to ethylene (a naturally occurring plant hormone).

Remove the fruit from the plastic bag (perforated) and rinse it thoroughly. Refrigerate, but don’t let the temperature drop below 50°F (10°C).

Keeping eggplants with apples or tomatoes will cause them to rot and brown because those fruits emit ethylene (a natural plant hormone).

It is, however, worth investigating some of the information behind this. Keep reading.

Factors Affecting Eggplant Ripening Process

The ripening process of eggplants can be affected by several factors. There are several factors to consider, one of which is the eggplant variety. The maturity of some varieties varies from variety to variety. Growing conditions are another factor to consider.

A lack of water, heat, or other stress can cause plants to produce fewer fruits or take longer to ripen. Ripening can also be affected by the time of year. A summer-grown eggplant usually ripens faster than one grown in a cooler climate.

A variety of shapes, colors, and sizes are available in eggplant fruit. There is no way to judge eggplants by their size or shape since it can depend on the variety you grow, the plant hardiness zone they are grown in, the weather conditions they have matured in, as well as a bunch of other factors like the eggplant variety you chose.

In ideal conditions, eggplant seeds take between 100 and 120 days to mature when planted as seeds (about 15 days less if they are planted as seedlings) – but the time period varies depending on how they grow and what hardiness zone they are planted in.

Over Ripe Eggplants Are Bitter: Pick Earlier Not Later

Additionally, it is important to pick them at the right time because when overripe and bitter, their flesh and seeds are bitter and not very pleasant. Dark and hard seeds are also characteristic of bitter overripe eggplant.

Methods To Use Bitter Eggplants

Over-ripe eggplants can still be used in some traditional ways, such as treating the flesh with salt after removing the skin, but you’ve got so many more options if you harvest them at the right time. If you prefer a firmer variety, you can put them in stir fries or make ratatouille, caponata, or lasagna for an Italian-inspired dish.

Tips To Identify When To Harvest Eggplant When Ripe And Ready

When it’s time to pick eggplants at their peak, there are a few tips you can follow. Purple eggplants are the most common variety of eggplant among the different colors and varieties. Purple eggplants turn from having a deep purple color to having a light purple or brownish color as they ripen.

Unfortunately, it becomes bitter when even slightly overripe. In order to avoid ripening too much, you should pick purple eggplant as large as it grows but before it gets too ripe. The deep purple is only slightly lightening and the top is only just beginning to turn yellow. Those are other signs that they haven’t become over-ripe yet.

The best way to avoid buying overripe and bitter eggplants is to reject them if you see them in the supermarket. The prime time of an eggplant has already passed when it is fully ripe. As eggplants ripen, they tend to become lighter, which may seem counterintuitive to most fruits and vegetables.

When Is Japanese Variety Eggplant Ready To Pick

In the case of Japanese eggplant, the basic principles are the same as for regular eggplant. You should pick your eggplants before they turn yellow or light brown if they are fully white or have white stripes when they are immature.

The only way to know for sure that a Japanese eggplant is ready for harvest is to harvest it. A small, pale, and tightly packed seed should have a smooth, glossy skin and a firm interior. Japanese eggplants with overripe seeds may have darker seeds, and the flesh around mature seeds may be looser.

A Cautious Approach To Picking Eggplant In Their Prime

It would be best to pick the fruit when it’s still somewhat immature if you want to be extra careful. It is better to pick eggplants a little immature than fully mature if you want the best flavor and texture. In order to avoid eggplant roulette with the potential bitterness, it’s better to sacrifice a little on the eggplant’s size.

In spite of their bitterness, eggplant seeds are best when immature and as such are best when immature. You should pick them early rather than too late rather than wait for them to grow as big as they can.

Some Basic Tips On Growing Eggplant

The good news about eggplant is that it’s easy to grow in a pot or garden bed if you’re interested in growing it like a pro. You should ensure that the soil outside is at least 55-60F before transplanting eggplant outside, because eggplant prefers a warm climate and well-drained soil. Frost also affects homegrown eggplants. Their growth will be stunted, they will turn yellow, and they will be slow to bear if the soil is too cold.

Water your eggplant regularly and plant it in a sunny area. A second reason to avoid overwatering or underwatering eggplant is that it is a very delicate plant. The plant will rot if it gets too much water, while it will taste bitter if it gets too little water. Last but not least, be gentle when harvesting eggplants. Bringing eggplants from the garden to the kitchen can cause them to bruise easily. Fresh eggplant can be enjoyed all season long with a little care!

The plants should be planted in a hot, sunny location and covered with plastic jugs until the leaves begin to poke through. Plant nutrients will be channeled into the remaining fruits if new blossoms are pinched back with frost approaches.

The plants should be placed in an area that gets the most sun, and jugs (with the bottoms cut out and the caps off) should be placed over them until leaves begin to poke through. The plant nutrients will be channeled into the remaining fruits if blossoms are pinched back as frost approaches.

FAQ

Q: When is the best time to harvest eggplant?

A: The best time to harvest eggplant is when it reaches its full maturity and has a glossy, dark purple skin.

Q: How do I know if an eggplant is ready to be picked?

A: To determine if an eggplant is ready to be picked, gently squeeze it with your fingers. If it springs back and feels firm, it is ready to be harvested.

Q: What does a ripe eggplant look like?

A: A ripe eggplant will have a shiny, dark purple skin. It should also be firm to the touch and free from any visible blemishes or bruises.

Q: How do I pick an eggplant without damaging the plant?

A: To pick an eggplant without damaging the plant, use a sharp pruner or scissors to cut the stem of the eggplant. Avoid pulling or twisting the fruit, as this can harm the plant.

Q: Can I store eggplant in the refrigerator?

A: Yes, you can store eggplant in the refrigerator. Place the eggplant in a plastic bag or wrap it in a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture.

Q: How long can I store eggplant?

A: Eggplant can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week. However, it is best to use it as soon as possible for the freshest taste.

Q: How should I store eggplant?

A: Store eggplant in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. If you have already cut the eggplant, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Q: What is the best variety of eggplant to grow?

A: The Black Beauty variety is one of the most popular and widely grown eggplant varieties. It produces large, dark purple fruits that are delicious and perfect for cooking.

Q: Are the seeds inside an eggplant edible?

A: Yes, the seeds inside an eggplant are edible. They are small, soft, and do not have a bitter taste.

Q: Can I plant the seeds from the eggplant I harvest?

A: Yes, you can plant the seeds from the eggplant you harvest. Simply clean and dry the seeds, then store them in a cool, dry place until you are ready to sow them.

Q: When is eggplant ready to pick?

A: Eggplant is ready to pick when it reaches the desired size and color. The best time to pick eggplants is when they are fully mature and have a glossy skin.

Q: How can I tell if the eggplant is overripe?

A: An overripe eggplant will have a dull appearance and may feel soft to the touch. It is best to pick eggplants before they become overripe to ensure the best flavor and texture.

Q: What is the best time to pick eggplant?

A: The best time to pick eggplant is when it has reached its full size and has a shiny, smooth skin. It is important to harvest eggplants promptly to prevent them from becoming overripe.

Q: How do I know if my eggplant is ripe?

A: A ripe eggplant will have a firm texture and a vibrant color. To check for ripeness, gently press the skin of the eggplant. If it springs back, it is likely ripe and ready to be harvested.

Q: How long does it take for eggplant to ripen?

A: The time it takes for an eggplant to ripen can vary depending on the variety and growing conditions. On average, it takes around 65 to 80 days from planting to harvest.

Q: Can I wait too long to harvest eggplant?

A: Yes, if you wait too long to harvest eggplant, they may become overripe and develop a bitter taste. It is best to harvest eggplants promptly when they are at their peak of ripeness.

Q: How should I harvest an eggplant?

A: To harvest an eggplant, use a sharp knife or shears to cut the stem of the fruit from the plant. Be careful not to damage the remaining plant or surrounding fruits.

Q: Can I eat an eggplant that has an indentation on the top?

A: Yes, an indentation on the top of an eggplant is a common characteristic and does not indicate a problem. You can still eat the eggplant as long as it is firm and has no other signs of spoilage.

Q: Are eggplants part of the nightshade family?

A: Yes, eggplants belong to the nightshade family, which also includes tomatoes and peppers. They share similar characteristics and growing requirements.

Q: How should I space eggplants in my vegetable garden?

A: When planting eggplants in your vegetable garden, it is recommended to space them approximately 3 feet apart in rows. This allows the plants enough space to grow and receive adequate sunlight.

Conclusion

In conclusion, knowing when to harvest eggplant is crucial in order to enjoy the best flavor and quality. By following these guidelines and tips, you can pick eggplant like a pro and avoid any bitterness or overripe fruit. It is recommended to harvest eggplants when the fruit is firm, glossy, and the skin is smooth. The green color of the stem is also a good indication of readiness. Using a sharp knife or pruning shears to cut the stem will help prevent any damage to the plant. It is important to wear gardening gloves to avoid splinters while harvesting. 

Once harvested, eggplants can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. It is advisable to keep them away from apples or tomatoes, as the ethylene emitted by these fruits can cause the eggplants to turn brown and decay. When storing, it is best to remove the fruit from the perforated plastic bag and rinse it thoroughly before refrigerating. The temperature should be kept above 50°F (10°C) to maintain the freshness of the eggplant.

Factors such as eggplant variety, growing conditions, and time of year can affect the ripening process. It is important to consider these factors when determining the optimal time to harvest. Overripe eggplants can be bitter and have dark and hard seeds. However, if you do end up with overripe eggplants, there are still ways to use them, such as treating the flesh with salt or incorporating them into different recipes.

In terms of growing eggplant, it is relatively easy to do so in a pot or garden bed. Ensuring that the soil is warm and well-drained is important for successful growth. Watering regularly and providing ample sunlight will also contribute to the health and productivity of the plants. When it comes to harvesting, it is essential to be gentle to avoid bruising the eggplants.

In conclusion, harvesting eggplant at the right time is key to enjoying its delicious flavor. By following the guidelines and tips mentioned in this article, you can confidently grow and harvest eggplants like a pro. Remember to consider the various factors that can affect ripening, and always aim to harvest eggplants when they are firm, glossy, and have a smooth skin. With a little knowledge and care, you can savor the best of these versatile and nutritious vegetables.

Determining Eggplant Ripeness: How Do You Know If Eggplant Is Ripe?

Related Search Terms:

eggplant before ripe, eggplant ready to harvest, eggplant ripe to pick, eggplant ripeness, eggplant when to pick, eggplants before ripe, how big should an eggplant be before you pick it, how can you tell when an eggplant is ripe, how do i know when an eggplant is ready to pick, how do i know when my eggplant is ready to be picked, how do i know when my japanese eggplant is ready to pick, how do you know an eggplant is ripe, how do you know if an eggplant is ripe, how do you know when an eggplant is ready to be picked, how do you know when an eggplant is ready to pick, how do you know when aubergines are ready to pick, how do you know when eggplant is ready to pick, how do you know when eggplant is ripe, how do you know when to pick eggplants, how to know if eggplant is ripe, how to know when an eggplant is ready to pick, how to know when an eggplant is ripe, how to know when eggplant is ready to harvest, how to know when eggplant is ready to pick, how to know when eggplant is ripe, how to know when japanese eggplant is ready to pick, how to know when to pick an eggplant, how to know when to pick eggplant, how to pick an eggplant, how to pick eggplant, how to tell aubergine is ripe, how to tell eggplant ripe, how to tell if a purple eggplant is ripe, how to tell if an eggplant is ripe, how to tell if eggplant is ready to pick, how to tell if eggplant is ripe, how to tell if eggplants are ripe, how to tell when eggplant is ready to pick, how to tell when eggplant is ripe, how to tell when eggplant is ripe to pick, methods of determining maturity of eggplant, when are aubergines ripe, when are eggplant ready to harvest, when are eggplant ripe, when are eggplants ready to pick, when are eggplants ripe, when do you pick eggplant, when is a eggplant ripe, when is an eggplant ready to harvest, when is an eggplant ready to pick, when is an eggplant ripe, when is eggplant ready to harvest, when is eggplant ripe, when is purple eggplant ready to pick, when is white eggplant ready to pick, when should i harvest my eggplant, when should i pick eggplant, when should you pick eggplant, when to harvest an eggplant, when to pick a eggplant, when to pick an eggplant, when to pick aubergines, when to pick eggplant, when to pick eggplant from plant, when to pick eggplants, when to pick green eggplant, when to pick japanese eggplant, when to pick purple eggplant

Answer:

Determining the ripeness of an eggplant can be challenging, but there are a few key indicators to look for. A ripe eggplant should be firm, glossy, and have a smooth skin. You can also check for the following signs of ripeness: the eggplant should have a vibrant color, it should feel heavy for its size, and the skin should not easily dent when pressed with a finger. Additionally, avoid selecting eggplants that are too old and bitter. Harvesting eggplants at the right time ensures the best taste and flavor.

Lyndon

I’ve been around farming all of my life. Farmers Life Blog is a way I can share my passion for all things farming and gardening and hopefully share some of my knowledge and experience through the process. Shootin' the breeze doesn't have to be confined to the front porch anymore, now there's a whole world to share my deep and abiding love with.

Recent Posts

Farmer Life At Manhasset Gardens