Eggplant (Solanum melongena) Aubergine, Brinjal, Wambotu.
Eggplant is native to India, Africa and Southern Asia. This annual is almost a perennial plant and can be grafted onto the weed (wild thorn apple). This is an excellent rootstock if you come across an eggplant with good fruit that you would like to propagate, that is different to what you have, as there are many different types and shapes of fruit (large dark purple, slender white, slender white and purple) in round and ovoid shapes.
Eggplant thrives in a dry climate with regular watering and well-drained soil. As for most vegetables, good feeds of regular fertilising is essential for good continuous fruit.
Plant the seedlings out 1 metre apart and in 12 weeks or so fruit can be picked. Summer planting is best for this vegetable.
Eggplant can be kept in the fridge for a few days, but cooked in dishes, it freezes well and the nutrition is low. Use eggplant young, sliced, either battered, breadcrumbed or floured and fried or in a vegetable dish.
DATE: November 1996
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