pick-white-eggplant

When Is the Best Time to Pick White Eggplant

White eggplants (Solanum melongena) produce pure white or ivory colored fruit that is sweet and tender. If you usually grow deep, purple eggplants, you might be wondering how to tell when your white eggplants are ripe. You use the same methods as you do for purple eggplants, inspecting the skin, color and texture of the fruit.

White Eggplant Varieties

Knowing when to pick your white eggplants depends on the variety that you choose to grow in your garden, and how many days they take to reach maturity. Most white varieties mature in about 75 days with full sun and regular watering. The following are the most common varieties of white eggplants:

  • White Star – This hybrid eggplant produces white, oblong fruit in 75 days
  • Comet – An Asian hybrid variety that grows, long, oblong, pure white fruit in about 70 days
  • Casper – Takes about 70 days to mature and produces cream-colored fruit
  • Easter egg – Shaped like an egg with white skin, and takes 52 to 64 days to mature

Identify Ripe White Eggplants

Young, white eggplants turn white or cream colored, and have glossy, firm skin. This is the best time to pick them because they haven’t reached full maturity, which results in a bitter flavor and spongy texture. When picking your young eggplants, choose the ones with firm skin that leaves a slight indent when pressed with your finger.

If you want to be sure about the ripeness, you can cut one open and look at the seeds. They should be white or ivory colored. If the seeds look dark, then the fruit is overripe. If the skin on your white eggplants turns yellow, that is a sign that they’re overripe.

Picking White Eggplant

Once you’ve determined that your white eggplants are ripe, you’re ready to start picking. All you need are a pair of gardening gloves to protect your hands from the prickly stems, and a pair of sharp gardening shears or pruners.

While holding a ripe eggplant in one hand, use your shears to cut through the stem above the fruit. Leave a portion of the stem attached to the white eggplant because exposure to the air causes eggplant flesh to turn brown. Harvest your white eggplants often, to encourage new growth that keeps producing fruit for the whole growing season.

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