If you're a beginner at growing eggplant, you might be wondering how to pick these purple beauties. The following tips will show you how to pick your eggplants safely, without damaging the foliage, stems or fruit.
Once your eggplants have shiny skin, and feel firm to the touch, they’re ready to harvest. Another way to tell if your eggplant is ready for picking is to press your thumb lightly into the skin. If the skin springs back, the eggplant is ripe.
Keep in mind that young eggplants are more flavorful and tender than overripe ones. Also, if your area has rainy, wet weather, check your eggplants for soft spots caused by excessive moisture, and harvest them before they deteriorate.
Getting Ready to Pick Eggplant
When picking your eggplants,wear garden gloves and long sleeves for protection. Eggplants have thorny stems and tops that can cause skin irritation.
Tools Needed for Picking Eggplant
The following tools are all you really need to pick eggplants:
Pruners or garden shears
Sharpen your pruners or shears before using them because eggplant stems are very tough. Sharpened pruners make clean cuts, preventing stem damage and breakage.
Steps for Picking Eggplant
To get started picking eggplant, grasp the fruit in your hand and gently lift it. Eggplants bruise easily, so be careful when handling the fruit.
Using your pruners or shears, cut the eggplant stem above the calyx, which is the outside part of the flower that’s attached to the top of the eggplant. The calyx remains on the eggplant when harvesting.
Avoid twisting and pulling the stem because you could damage the plant, or pull it right out of the soil.
That’s all there is to it.
Try to pick your eggplants once or twice per week. The more eggplants you harvest, the more they will grow because picking stimulates fruit production. Frequent harvesting will provide you with delicious eggplants for the entire growing season.