How long to eggplants take to ripen?

trant(z6 NY)July 9, 2007

Fruit on my eggplants began growing back in early May shortly after transplanting them into the garden.

Some of the fruit have just stopped growing. They got to about the size of a small paste tomato then just quit. They remain hard to this day. The few plants that have this seem to put their energy towards other fruit... very odd?

Other fruit has grown into pretty harvestable sizes, a little bigger than a Mango, but it's still too firm. I cut one anyway and cut it up and saw it was not ready inside either.

So how long does this take? I am very inexperienced in eggplant growing. And it wasn't easy growing eggplants here, this is my third year the first two were total failures.

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You don't want a ripe eggplant unless you are saving seeds. Eggplants, like summer squash, are used in the immature stage. You can pick them anytime they are large enough to use, up till they start to lose thier gloss. They become increasingly inedible from that point.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 3:45PM
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trant(z6 NY)

Really? I had no idea. I can pick them anytime and it won't be too early? I always thought I had to wait until the flesh was still firm but allows you press it in. Right now the flesh is too hard to depress it much at all.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 4:10PM
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Are you growing some 'exotic' type? My eggplants are firm, but I can still do the 'thumb test' on them when only a day or two old as they have some give.

Anyway, Farmerdilla is absolutely correct that eggplant can be harvested any time. There is no 'too early', but there is a 'too late'.

Unfortunately there seems to be a lot of misconceptions floating around the intertubes on this subject. I even saw a recipe site discuss how to determine a good egplant from a bad one in the grocery and it said to press with the thumb and if it bounced back it wasn't ripe and if the indentation remained it was a 'good one'. Yuck, can't imagine too many enjoyed the recipe! ;-)

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 4:49PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Leaving those eggplant on will inhibit production. Cut them off & let the plant put its energy into new flowers & fruit.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 4:49PM
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As with most vegetables, you can harvest them at any time so long as you think they're large enough to eat at all. The younger they are, the more crisp, tender, and delicate they will be. This includes eggplant, potatoes, peppers, beans, okra, leafy vegetables, broccoli, asparagus, articokes, peas, zucchini, peas, etc. Tomatoes and tomatillos are an exception but they are a fruit. So like most fruit, you want to ripen them on the plant.

he fruits of the eggplant are edible from the time they are one-third grown until ripe. You can harvest the fruits when they are 6 to 8 inches long and glossy. Fruit should be large, shiny, and a uniformly deep purple color. When the side of the fruit is pressed slightly with thumbnail and an indentation remains, the fruit is ripe. Long, slender, Japanese eggplant may be ready to harvest from finger or hotdog size. If fruit is a dull color and has brown seeds, it is too ripe and should be discarded. Use a knife or pruning shears rather than breaking or twisting the stems. Leave the large, usually green, calyx attached to the fruit.

Here is a link that might be useful: Harvesting eggplant

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 4:50PM
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trant(z6 NY)
    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 8:25AM
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mawkhawk(Metro Detroit, MI/ Z6)

Trant, also, they'll split open if you let them get too big.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 8:35AM
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trant(z6 NY)

Well I wouldn't have to worry about that. These things are growing so slowly...

How long does an eggplant typically take to grow from a pollinated flower to a harvestable fruit?

Some of the fruit on my plants have been growing for 2 months and are not nearly the size the seed packet says can be harvested.

Maybe am I not watering enough? I usually water them almost every other day when it's not raining (and it's not been raining much here). also they are in a raised bed not in container.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 10:48AM
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Is it just some eggplants that are stalled while others are developing fully or all the fruit are stalled?

If you have fruits developing at the expected rate to the expected size and a few that are just sitting there I would just remove the slackers and let the plant get busy with making more.

Possibly there was some environmental factor that resulted in the early fruits being abnormal.

If it is all/most that aren't developing then I don't have any ideas.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 11:12AM
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I wish my eggplant would grow. I have gotten some pretty purple flowers but they always fall off.....

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 11:49AM
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