How To Grow Your Organically Raised Ichiban Eggplants
Plant your Ichiban eggplant in your garden or into a large container two weeks after the last frost. We always do HerbFest weekend after April 15 which is suppose to be the last frost date. If it does frost then cover your eggplant over night and remove the covering in the a.m. before gets too hot. Wait for the soil to reach temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Cold temperatures damage the plant and can possibly kill it. Water your Ichiban eggplant before transplanting, and also water the bottom of hole you are transplanting it into. Use a transplanting fork or flat stick to remove sprouts from flats. Plant Ichiban eggplants where the will be exposed to a full day of sunlight, 1 1/2 to 2 feet apart in rows 3 feet apart, or plant two per large container.
Ensure moderate moisture and fertilizer levels for your Ichiban eggplants. since they were grown from organic seeds and grown organically to this moment in time I would continue to use a fish emulsion or other organic fertilizer. Often a good old, leaf mulch, about 1 - 2 inches around the plant will provide all nutrients needed and keep good ph balance. Do not use high-nitrogen fertilizers as they will encourage foliage growth rather than fruit. Water your Ichiban eggplants one to two times per week.
Rinse your Ichiban eggplants with a full stream of water early in the day to remove them of aphids and other parasites. Look through the foliage for these brown insects and for flea beetles. Pick other insects and insect eggs off the plants daily. Cover your Ichiban eggplants with row covers to protect young plants from pests. Avoid planting Ichiban eggplants in the same spot as the previous year to prevent wllting diseases.
Pick your Ichiban eggplants when they reach 8 to 10 inches in length. Picking your Ichiban eggplants when they are slightly smaller will ensure tenderness.
Pinch off your Ichiban eggplant's blossoms during the last weeks of the growing season. This will ensure that your Ichiban eggplant concentrates its energy to fruit ripening rather than new growth.