If you hear a hollow sound, it’s overripe and bitter. Gardening Know How: Eggplant Harvest: Information on How to Harvest an Eggplant, Garden Eco: How Long Until Eggplant Picking Time, Good Housekeeping: The Secret to Growing the Most Flavorful Eggplants, University of Missouri Extension: Eggplant Production. Remember, the eggplant should be a little bigger than your hand (or around that size), and have a nice shine to it.This is a ‘Black Beauty’ variety eggplant. Always use a pair of garden shears sharp scissors. The proper time to harvest an eggplant depends on the type growing in your garden. In addition to looking for glossy skin, gently press your finger into the eggplant. Some of the different varieties of short-season eggplants include: Mid-season eggplants take a little longer to mature than short-season eggplants. However, it’s important to point out that you should always wash your eggplant before you begin to cut them up and add them to your dishes. Remember, before you pick your eggplant, make sure that it’s about the size of your hand or a little bigger and has a nice shin to it. At 55°F, eggplants will keep for 1 to 2 weeks. Cartwright has published several eBooks on craft and garden-related subjects. Protect your hands and arms by wearing gloves; the eggplant vine can irritate your skin. Some of the different kinds of mid-season eggplants include: Last but definitely not least, the long-season eggplant takes the longest to mature out of the group. Another way you can tell if your eggplant is fully matured is looking at its shine. When it is time to pick your eggplants, you will want to make sure you do it correctly. All the cultivars, from the round Sicilian to the elongated Chinese and Japanese and the bell-shaped White and Italian, have similar harvesting times and tastes. Learning when to harvest eggplants results in the tastiest and most tender of the fruit. This part of the gardening process is very important. Once an eggplant is harvested, it remains fresh on the kitchen counter for a few days. If the impression lingers, the eggplant is soft and is likely over-ripe. Once the fruit gets to be about the size it is supposed to be and still has lovely shiny skin, I pick it. To test, press the skin. Mid-season eggplants usually mature in about 70 to 80 days after they have been planted. This is when it’s at its sweetest. Some Italian eggplant sources indicate the fruit may be ready in 70 days; however, others say the harvest is 16 to 24 weeks after planting. Your Black Beauty eggplants are tender and flavorful when picked while still young. Your trellis is loaded with shiny eggplant. It’s an acquired taste, and its fruit is often smothered in sauces, breadcrumbs, grilled or surrounded with vegetables in a ratatouille. They’re tasty, they can be added to several delicious dishes, they’re nutritious and they’re fun to grow. A versatile writer, Jann enjoys research as well as doing the actual writing. If you’re curious you’ll know all the details in the recipe post linked below. Travelling and eating around Italy and France, I have come to appreciate and enjoy what is available in season. Seventy to 120 days is the typical growing period of eggplants, depending on your hardiness zone. All are best grown in a tropical climate but flourish in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 4 through 10. If you don’t plan to use it immediately, it’ll keep in the refrigerator for seven days. Adding eggplant to your salads, pastas and other dishes will really increase the overall flavor. The eggplant (Solanum melongena) most often associated with food preparation in the United States is actually mild in taste and very low in calories. In addition to looking for glossy skin, gently press your finger into the eggplant. If the indentation doesn't spring back, that fruit is ready for harvest. Examine the fruit for deep, purple, glossy skin. If your finger makes an impression that quickly fades, the eggplant is ripe and ready to harvest. On the other hand, there are no benefits to letting your eggplant become over-ripe. Type above and press Enter to search. Using force or a strong grip could bruise the eggplant and lead to premature rotting. The proper time to harvest an eggplant depends on the type growing in your garden. If you are unsure, you can always hold a lantern or a flashlight over it to get a better look. These eggplants take anywhere from 80 to 100 days to fully mature. When you grab your eggplant, do it softly and with care. The truth is, homegrown eggplants usually never grow to the size that you see at the market. Picking your eggplant stimulates your plant’s ability to produce more while also lengthening the growing season. Many people think that when they grow eggplants, they’ll end up being about the size that they see in their grocery stores. Another benefit to picking your eggplant a little earlier is the ability to get the most out of your plant. Japanese eggplant (Solanum melongena), a miniature variety, develops a mild flavor compared to western varieties. If the impression lingers, the eggplant is soft and is likely over-ripe. By doing so, you’ll get the most flavor out of your eggplant. Tap the outside of the plant. Don’t wait for the plant to grow into the size you find at the market because homegrown eggplants are usually smaller. However, you will find that when the plants get bigger and healthier, the eggplants will grow larger than this before they fade. If the flesh is hard, with no give, the eggplant is immature and too young to pick. The best eggplant is harvested just before it’s fully ripe, when it’s young and tender. When you cut your eggplant from the branch, leave a few inches of stem connected to the eggplant. Leaving the eggplant harvest too long causes bitter eggplant with a tough skin and large seeds. Learn this information about your particular type before planting. How to Store Eggplant. Known as the globe eggplant, it’s easy to grow either in a vegetable patch or a container. So, when is eggplant ready to pick? A career in television writing, as a magazine editor and celebrity interviewer, Jann adapts to her environment, having traveled the world, living overseas and packing and unpacking her treasures for a new location over 30 times. You can store eggplant in the refrigerator but not cooler than 50°F (10°C). I see your variety is supposed to get to 7" long. The globe eggplant is the most common of the species, and diners are most familiar with it. Make sure your Black Beauty eggplants are ripe for picking. Pick eggplant when the skin takes on a high gloss. The simple and light dish delivers on taste and educates the palate in fresh and seasonal produce. Some of the different kinds of long-season eggplant include: Although these timelines are a good way to tell on average when your eggplant will fully mature, you should never rely on them solely. As with most of our fruit and vegetables, eggplant, which actually is a fruit, not a vegetable, and a member of the tomato family, originated in Southeast Asia thousands of years ago. Learning how to harvest an eggplant correctly comes with practice, but it shouldn’t take long before you’re picking an eggplant like a pro. With such a long maturation period, using your eyes and fingers becomes the best determinant of ripeness. Once you are finished harvesting your eggplant, you can then start to enjoy them with your meals. Fewer seeds are found in the Japanese and Chinese eggplant, yet all can be harvested and prepared the same way. Look for a firm, shiny skin. The best alternative is to use it right away in a recipe and freeze the result! To test, press the skin. Are Moonflowers Poisonous or Safe for Recreational Use? In fact, when your eggplant becomes over-ripe, it’ll taste bitter and eventually start to rot. Hold the eggplant in one hand, and using pruning shears, snip it from the vine about 1/2-inch above its green “cap.” Don’t pull or twist. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. This can bruise the eggplant and cause it to go bad. If the indentation doesn't spring back, that fruit is ready for harvest.

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