Eggplant require heat throughout their lives and are almost always started in a greenhouse and transplanted outside.
They have NO cold tolerance and should only go outside after all danger of frost has passed.
They do best on plastic mulch (which provides heat and keeps down the weeds), but can be grown without it. In many gardens, eggplant plants need to be protected from beetles. If you don’t protect your plants, these pests can eat the plants leaves to death. Eggplants need to be transplanted with a lot of fertilizer.
Unlike tomatoes and most other fruits, eggplants don’t exactly get “ripe” – they just keep growing and you can harvest them at any size. The longer you leave them, the more fruit you’ll get, but do harvest them before they lose their shine and get brown. While traditional western eggplants are large and black, there are many some varieties of eggplants that are green, white, red, and of widely varying sizes and flavors.
Eggplants do not store well – use them as soon as you harvest them, or put in the refrigerator for no more than two days.
Be careful with Egglpant seed as it can drown very easily, before it has germinated. It is slower, but safer, to sow seed in good quality seed raise mix (very sandy) and wait patiently for germination. The seed is dependant on ‘daylength’ for germination and generally will not shoot if there is insufficient sun and warmth to keep it happy. This makes it awkward to grow in Victoria and Tasmania as the germination window is narrower, but, if you are patient, the seed will germinate when the time is right.
Just don’t forget where you sowed them.