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(Solanum melogena) - Eggplant is a member of the large and diverse nightshade family. They love hot weather, and although Nova Scotia isn't exactly famed eggplant growing territory, we've collected a few favourite varieties that have proven to thrive here.

Growing: Eggplant seeds should be started early indoors. I like to sow mine mid-March, the same time as peppers. They do best when provided lots of light and warmth, I've found using grow lights makes a huge difference getting them started.

Transplant outdoors after summer warmth has arrived, usually mid-June around here. Choose a site with maximum sun. Eggplants do best in fertile soil with plenty of compost, but don't over-do the nitrogen, which can lead to wild foliage at the expense of fruit. They don't require staking the same way tomatoes do, and are fairly low maintenance once they get going.

One thing you'll want to keep an eye out for though, is the Colorado Potato Beetle... that most dreaded of insect herbivore. They love eggplant leaves even more than potato. My tip: pick off the bright-orange egg clusters which get laid on the underside of the leaves. They're easier to spot than the larvae themselves.

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Early Black Eggplant - Annapolis Seeds
Early Black Eggplant (Sold out for 2018)
Price: $3.00

The knee-high plants are loaded with plump, 6-7 inch long shiny black fruit. Very early maturing, and does well in a short season. Beautiful purple veined leaves. 30 seeds

-Grown by
Annapolis Seeds
Nord Eggplant - Annapolis Seeds
Nord Eggplant
Price: $3.00

An extremely early maturing variety, sent to me from a seed saver in Slovenia. Compact plants which bear small lilac purple fruit. I’d compare Nord to an extra-early determinate tomato like Cole... bearing fast and then finishing early. 30+ seeds

-Grown by Annapolis Seeds
Long Purple Eggplant - Annapolis Seeds
Long Purple Eggplant
Price: $3.00

Very long and narrow purple eggplant with a fine thin skin and tender flesh. Classic Asian-type eggplant. Early, hardy and reliable. They produced 4-7 eggplants per plant in the challenging 2016 season... impressive! 30 seeds

-Grown by Twisted Brook
Turkish Orange Eggplant - Annapolis Seeds
Turkish Orange Eggplant
Price: $3.00

Easy to grow, prolific producer of small 3" round orange eggplants. Flavour is mild and sweet, great for any eggplant recipe. Thrives in our Maritime climate, at Yonder Hill these plants easily out-produce larger fruited eggplant varieties.

-Grown by Yonder Hill Farm