Eggplant ‘Fairy Tale’ Variety – What Is A Fairy Tale Eggplant

Eggplant ‘Fairy Tale’ Variety – What Is A Fairy Tale Eggplant

By: Teo Spengler

Of course, you groweggplant in your veggie garden to enjoy the delicious eating atdinner time, but when your eggplant variety produces magically ornamentalplants, like when you are growing Fairy Tale eggplants, it’s an extra bonus.This type of eggplant is as beautiful as it is delicious. Read on for moreFairy Tale eggplant information, including tips on how to grow fairy taleeggplants.

What is a Fairy Tale Eggplant?

Eggplant has many fans, but it’s not considered anespecially gorgeous vegetable plant. Your opinion on this topic might changewhen you get some Fairy Tale eggplant information. What is a Fairy Taleeggplant? It’s a variety of the classic vegetable that produces tender-sweetfruits attractive enough to deserve a place in your annual flower bed.

The eggplant ‘Fairy Tale’ is a lovely mini eggplant, only 4inches (10 cm.) long. It is lavender with stunning streaks of white and growson compact stems. The plant itself is a dwarf, growing only 24 inches (61 cm.)tall. That makes growing Fairy Tale eggplants suitable enough for plantingin containers. The fruit is sweet, without any bitterness, and ithas few seeds.

How to Grow Fairy Tale Eggplants

If you are wondering how to grow Fairy Tale eggplants, youcan sow the seeds indoors a few months before the last spring frost. Keep thesoil moist and warm, around 75 degrees. Seedlings emerge in two to three weeksand must be hardened off before transplanting to the garden.

When you start growing Fairy Tale eggplant, you’ll need topick a sunny site that offers rich, organic soil. Don’t plant in a plot whereyou grew tomatoes,peppers,potatoes,or other eggplants the year before.

Set the eggplant Fairy Tale plants about 3 feet (.9 meters)apart. Transplant the seedling into an ample hole at the same depth as it grewin the container. Press the soil into place and water thoroughly.

Growing eggplant Fairy Tale in a container is also a goodoption. How to grow Fairy Tale eggplants in containers? Select a pot at least 2feet (61 cm.) wide and deep. Don’t fill it with garden soil, but rather pottingmix. Care for as you would in the garden but keep in mind that container grownplants typically require more watering than those planted in ground.

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Read more about Eggplants

How to Grow Eggplant in a Container

By Jodi Torpey
  • A container-grown eggplant is as ornamental as other colorful annuals.
Thai purple eggplant is easy to grow in a container garden and produces long skinny fruit.

If you’ve never grown an eggplant, what’s stopping you? There are so many different varieties of eggplants, there’s sure to be one that fits your taste.

American shoppers are most familiar with the purple pear-shaped eggplants available at grocery stores. But there are dozens of different varieties, in all shapes and colors, that make eggplant especially attractive.

Even if you garden in a small garden bed, or grow your vegetables in containers on the patio or balcony, you can grow eggplant. Some smaller cultivars, like ‘Fairy Tale’ grow on plants that reach just a few feet tall.

Gardeners typically grow their eggplants from transplants found at the garden center. Most take between 60-100 days until the first harvest. For best results, plant a shorter season type so you can start enjoying eggplant in as little as two months.

Wait to plant until the weather is reliably warm at night, a consistent 55 degrees. Just like tomato transplants, eggplants need to be hardened off before planting. Slowly acclimate plants to the outdoors over a week or so.

Plant one eggplant per container, 2-gallon minimum. Fill the container with a high quality potting soil that will drain quickly. Add a balanced, slow-release fertilizer at planting and then every few weeks during the season, especially when plants start to bloom.

Water deeply and consistently, but don’t overwater. Eggplants need to dry slightly between waterings Mulch with straw, leaves or pesticide-free grass clippings to help maintain soil temperature. If necessary, stake or use a tomato cage to prevent branches that are heavy with fruit from breaking.

One mistake eggplant gardeners make is waiting to harvest the fruit until they’re as large as those found in grocery stores. If left on the plant too long, eggplants lose their sheen, become seedy and won’t be as tasty to eat.

To avoid that problem, use pruners or a knife to clip the fruit from the plant while still shiny and a bright color, even if they’re small. Leave about one inch of stem and calyx attached to the fruit.

Handle the fruit with care to prevent bruising. Use within a few days to enjoy the flavor while at its peak.

Eggplant is a versatile vegetable and is best used fresh from the garden. It can be grilled, fried, stuffed, baked, roasted, sautéed or stir fried. Two ways to preserve eggplant include pickling or freezing in pre-cooked casseroles.

Hydroponic Fairy Tale Eggplant

This plant is a super star in the Hydroponic system. They actually grow a lot faster, and better in the hydroponic system. The germination product is a little longer than you would expect, but it is so worth it in the end.

When planting your eggplants into your AeroGarden System, plant them as far away as possible. Many growers only recommend one plant in each system, but you can definitely do two plants. Just plant them on opposite sides of each other. Eggplants tend to grow thorns, so be careful and wear gloves!

Ready to harvest and eat in about 50 days after germination, but many growers have issues with pollinating these! Use a Q-Tip and lightly tap on the flowers. Once you see pollen fall, or have some on the end of the Q-Tip then you are doing it right. Be very gentle when doing this process, you can risk the flower falling from the plant, even days after.

Fairy Tale Eggplant Info: Learn How To Grow Fairy Tale Eggplants - garden

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Fairy Tale Hybrid Eggplant Seeds

This dwarf reaches just 18 to 24 inches high and wide, setting masses of showy purple-lavender blooms all over its well-branched form. These are followed by eggplants in clusters of 2 to 4. Very slender and long, they are neon-lavender with bold streaks of white -- absolutely showstopping!

And the flavor is the best part of all. Pick Fairy Tales young -- about 4 inches -- and sink your teeth into the most tender, sweet, succulent Eggplant you've ever tasted. No bitterness here!

Fairy Tale Hybrid has been awarded a 2005 All-America Selection for its revolutionary habit and look, but I think its best merit is flavor! Plan to design your garden around this splendid edible ornamental!

Begin seeds indoors 8 to 10 weeks before planning to set out. Eggplant is a warm-weather crop, so wait until after danger of frost before transplanting seedlings into the sunny garden. Set 18 inches apart. Pkt is 15 seeds.

Eggplant is a versatile vegetable that's an essential ingredient in dishes from around the world! It's naturally low in calories, fat, and sodium, yet high in fiber and loads of other vitamins and nutrients, and it comes in a number of varieties that are just as beautiful as they are tasty! Our wide selection is sure to provide something for everyone. If you're not already a fan of the excellent, edible Eggplant, you soon will be!

Choosing an Eggplant Variety

When choosing which Eggplant to grow, you have a lovely variety of colors, shapes, and sizes to pick from! The basic types are globe-shaped, elongated and cylindrical, and egg-shaped, with the possible colors for the fruit including white, purple, rose, green, black, yellow, orange, or red, and solid or striped. The most common type found in North America is the Western or oval eggplant. Its large deep purple fruit is used for stuffing, baking, sautéing, and grilling.

When to Start Eggplant Seeds

Eggplants are best started inside approximately 6 weeks before the last frost or about 8 weeks before you expect the outside temperatures to remain above 60 degrees F at night. They can be sown outdoors only in climates with very long growing seasons, when the soil is warm and all danger of frost is past.

How to Start Eggplant Seeds

Park’s Bio Dome seed starter is a great way to sow your Eggplant seeds, as each Bio Sponge has a pre-drilled hole into which you can just drop one seed—there's no need to thin seedlings or waste seeds! And you have a couple options, depending on how many Eggplants you want to grow—our original 60-cell Bio Dome or our 18-cell Jumbo Bio Dome, which grows big, stocky seedlings ready to transplant right into your garden.

If you're using a potting mix, plant at a depth of 4 times the size of the seed (below a ¼ inch of soil). You can use our convenient Jiffy Pots and Strips—Jiffy Pots are constructed of lightweight, biodegradable peat moss, so as the roots develop, they will grow right through the Jiffy Pot walls and into the garden soil.

You can use a seedling heat mat to raise the temperature to about 80 degrees F, but as the first leaves appear, lower the temperature a bit, to 70-75 degrees F.

Fluorescent light for around 14 to 16 hours a day is also ideal for the fastest growth. You will want to keep the seedlings just a few inches below the light so they don't “stretch ”and get “leggy". If you don't have strong artificial light, a sunny window will work, too—just keep the clear dome on your Bio Dome to protect your seedlings from those chilly drafts.

Germination should occur in 10 to 15 days and fruit should appear in 45 to 90 days from sowing, depending on the variety.

Transplanting Eggplant Seedlings

About 2 weeks before your transplant date work the garden soil thoroughly. Eggplants like a rich, fertile soil with plenty of organic matter so add compost or manure before planting. You can also work in a time-released fertilizer, which can be reapplied every 4 to 6 weeks. Then cover the soil with a tarp or plastic mulch to keep the weeds from sprouting until you're ready to plant. The use of mulch or a pop-up cold frame will also warm the soil, an important step before planting your young Eggplants.

Three to five days before transplanting, you'll need to start “hardening off ”your young plants by setting them outdoors in a lightly shaded area for an hour or two. The next day, give them a longer visit outside until they remain outdoors overnight, still in their pots. Naturally, if a cold spell hits, bring them indoors again to wait for the temperature to rise.

Your plants are ready to be transplanted when they have at least two sets of true leaves. Plant them 1 ½ to 2 feet apart in rows that are 2 ½ to 3 feet apart. Site them in full sun in well-drained soil, where they will receive 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight each day. Water well and mulch to conserve moisture. If you're growing the plants in straight rows, plastic mulch is far easier and effective than loose mulch (such as straw or pine bark).

Eggplants dislike root disturbance, so transplant carefully.

Eggplants are very sensitive to extreme cold, so after you've planted your seedlings, if there's a chance of a really cold or frosty night, securely cover them with a plastic bucket, plastic bag, or row cover.

Unless you have no other choice, don't plant your Eggplants in the same place you planted Tomatoes, Eggplants, or Broccoli & Cauliflower the year before. These veggies all belong to the same plant family and therefore have similar nutritional needs and are susceptible to similar diseases. Their presence can deplete the soil of important nutrients and possibly leave remnants of diseases in leaf litter the following year.

Some varieties of Eggplants have spines, so be careful when harvesting the fruit.

Growing Tips for Eggplants

  • Use a row cover to reduce insect damage.
  • Encourage the presence of ladybugs, lacewings, and other beneficial insects in your garden. These “good ”insects prey on aphids and other destructive insects. They're available at many garden centers.
  • Use cages or supports to keep fruit-laden plants from falling over.
  • The mature size of each plant will determine how much space you need to provide. For standard-size varieties, allow 18 to 24 inches between plants. Smaller types can be placed closer together, perhaps 12 to 18 inches apart.
  • In order to remain productive, Eggplants need about 1 inch of water per week. A 1- to 2-inch layer of mulch will help retain moisture as well as offer weed control.
  • If the nights become cool once your Eggplants have been planted in the garden, you can protect them with row covers or a tarp. Be careful, however, not to lay the tarp directly on the plants. You will need to use blocks, sticks, or whatever you have available to form a tent over your tender young Eggplants. You can remove it during the day and replace it at night, or leave it in place for several days and nights without damage to the plants.
  • Growing Eggplants in containers adds beauty to decks and patios as well as offers a solution if you have limited gardening space or if you simply want delicious veggies within easy reach. You can grow dwarf varieties in an 8-inch pot or a deep window box. Larger Eggplants will need a 12-inch pot or 5-gallon container to allow for root development. Only use containers with drainage for excess water, and choose a potting mix designed for container gardening. Water as needed, especially during the heat of summer and as fruit begins to form on the plants.
  • Harvest fruits regularly to keep the plants producing. Don't pull them off, but rather cut them off cleanly—pulling the fruit off may damage the stems. If a stem does get broken, use a knife or cutter to remove it cleanly. Eggplant fruit is best used fresh but will keep for about a week if it's loosely wrapped in a perforated plastic bag and stored in your refrigerator's crisper or a cool pantry.

Pests and Problems to Watch For

  • Flea beetles, so named for their tendency to jump when disturbed, love Eggplants. They produce a characteristic injury to leaves known as “shot-holing." Young plants and seedlings are particularly susceptible to this damage. You can use Sevin Dust or organic Neem oil to control them.
  • Aphids are often found on the underside of leaves and on stems and young buds. You can wash them off with a strong stream of water or use an insecticidal soap (be sure to follow the label instructions). Check the plants regularly, as aphids can be a recurring problem.
  • Mites are extremely small and often not noticed until the damage has been done. A fine webbing on the underside of the leaves may indicate their presence. They thrive under hot, dry conditions, injuring the plants by sucking out the juices, which causes the leaves to discolor and yellow. Mites can be controlled by washing the plants with water every day for about a week or by applying an insecticidal soap to the underside and top of the leaves.
  • Verticillium wilt can affect Eggplants, Tomatoes, Broccoli & Cauliflower, and Potatoes. A soil-borne fungus that makes the plants wilt, turn yellow, and eventually die causes this disease. Rotating these plants to different areas of the garden every year can prevent this problem.

Watch the video: iHarvest: Hydroponic System by IGWorks Setup