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Please help I cant germinate eggplant seeds  RSS feed

 
Posts: 74
Location: Prattville, Alabama, zone 8, 328ft
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I had a row of Black beauty eggplant this year and had one plant that was bigger than the rest and produced a large amount of fruit so I let one of the fruit grow as big as it could get on the plant and then brought it in and air dried the seeds they dried well didnt shrivel and stayed light colored and I was so excited because it had a thousand seeds to sprout give away and trade but now im worried I cant get any of them to sprout. Im not sure what to do I have started all my other seeds for my garden but this eggplant and a couple of habenaro are the only thing I cant get to grow. Please somebody tell me the secret to growing eggplant from seeds ops:
 
pollinator
Posts: 1223
Location: northern northern california
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well this could be completely wrong, but my best guess is that its too cold.

the seeds are sensitive to temperatures and wont sprout until they feel the right temp. for eggplant thats really warm, peppers especially like it super hot before they sprout. if you are doing this inside you either wait till its warmer, or get a heat mat.

you can winter sow stuff like this, or start it inside a bit earlier than most...but the seed wont come up until it feels like its "safe" and at the appropriate temperature....

peppers are pretty extreme and they like it totally hot, almost tropical, before they bust out and sprout.
 
cameron johnson
Posts: 74
Location: Prattville, Alabama, zone 8, 328ft
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I have been trying to sprout them in a green house in covered trays with a heat lamp that is a 250w infrared it puts out a lot of heat but its not working
 
pollinator
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Location: northern California
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I agree with the above poster....eggplant and peppers both need temps of at least 80F to sprout, and even then can take a week or two. The other possibility is that the eggplant wasn't mature enough. Mature enough to eat and ripe seed are quite different....the eggplant should have been dull, and beginning to turn yellowish.
 
cameron johnson
Posts: 74
Location: Prattville, Alabama, zone 8, 328ft
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I wouldnt say that the eggplant was turning yellow but it had stopped growing and was changing from blackish purple to brown with darker brown stripes and was starting to get pretty soft
 
gardener
Posts: 5084
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Hi Cameron,
What you need, since you have them in a green house already, is Heat Mats. The problem is, top heat will not get the growing medium to the right temperature for good sprouting.

I worked part time at Pieto Seed Farm in northern California in 1970-71, as part of my Horticulture degree requirements. We started all sorts of vegetable seeds every season just to grow more seed from. We had incubators, Heat Mats and Growing lights. Our usual method of starting any crop was to place the seeds in between properly damp blotter mats which went into the incubators, when the seeds started sprouting we placed them in individual peat pots filled with a proprietary growing medium and these were placed in trays which went on top of the heat mats. Bottom heating is the best method of getting new plants off to a smashing start. Once these new babies were opening their cotyledons the 1000 watt grow lights were turned on for 14 hours a day cycle. These plants were transplanted into the fields at the end of march, and had been growing since January at that time.

Eggplants are fully seed ripe when picked just as you described, so non mature seed is not your problem, lack of bottom heat is. Uncover those trays (misting is better), get some heat mats, place your trays on top of them and get rid of the IR lamps, you want halide grow lamps.
 
Posts: 69
Location: Yakima County, E WA
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I grew eggplant and peppers from seed last year.
They both take a while to sprout, eggplants taking longer. Peppers are covered with an oil that protects them from bird stomachs and whatnot, and I don't know what eggplants problem is but it likes it warm kinda moist for a while before anything will happen. They are a warm weather crop, so if temps at night are dropping it may prevent it from waking up.
I did mine in my apartment, took several weeks for the first ones to come up.
 
pollinator
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Location: Colville, WA Zone 5b
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quick way to make a heat mat (I'm betting that's your problem, eggplant and hot peppers are notoriously slow to germinate and need the heat) is to get a seeding tray, arrange a string of Christmas lights in the bottom, cover with sand, and stick your tray with the potted seeds right on top. The christmas lights will provide the right amount of heat and the sand helps distribute it evenly.
 
garden master
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Location: USDA Zone 8a
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These are all get tips.  I plan to try growing eggplant from seed this year.  Can anyone tell me if I can plant it with squash?  One place that I read said that it should not be planted where tomatoes and peppers had been planted previously.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Posts: 5084
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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You can plant eggplant interspersed with squash, since the eggplant will grow taller than the squash leaves all will be fine.
The reason for not planting behind The tomato or pepper is because these two have the same pests as the eggplant and the Nightshade family is slightly allopathic towards eggplant and some other vegetables.
 
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I'd agree with the previous comments regarding heat. While it may be hard to add bottom heat to the seeds you've already got in the GH, you could do it with another set of seeds. Try putting some seeds between damp paper towels , in a plastic bag which you seal, and put the bag in a warm place. Ideally 80F during the day, a bit cooler at night is OK. Light is not needed at this stage. Most folks have a few spots that get warm but not hot, above a stove with a pilot light, on top of a refrig, on some piece of electronics which is on a lot, etc. Just be sure that your spot does not get too hot (<90F for sure, and <85 would be better).

Open the bag and check the seeds for sprouting daily,  after a few days. It may take 1-2 weeks to see results. if things do start drying out add a bit of water. Once a seed start growing, carefully pick it up off the towel (tweezers are good for this) and gently plant it in soil. Ideally in a small pot which you can also control the environment around for a few weeks.

If none of your seeds sprout, despite being kept at suitable warm temps for a few weeks, then your seeds may not be viable. But If they do, this should get you some growing ones. It also is a simple germination test, you'll be able to see what percentage of your seed actually grows.
 
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I too had a problem germinating last year through natural light and natural heat and kinda gave up since it was getting late in the season and I got busy.
This year, I tried a new method. Some egg crates you buy at the store have an egg cover sandwiching the eggs for security. I decided to cut the middle plastic off and make holes underneath for drainage.
Placed seeds into the pods after hydrating and doming it with the cover. It’s been a week and I’m glad to see that they’re finally sprouting.
I have the aero garden which has the growlight and heating source underneath, about 70 degrees in temp. Just made sure to keep some water in the bottom tray to provide humidity and prevent drying but the pods are not sitting in water.
Hope this helps as I was ready to go and get seedlings and I’m glad I didn’t.
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gardener
Posts: 3730
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:You can plant eggplant interspersed with squash, since the eggplant will grow taller than the squash leaves all will be fine.



I giggle at this, and marvel about how gardening is highly localized. At my place, squash leaves are often waist high, and form a completely closed canopy. A really excellent eggplant might get as tall as mid-calf.

For what it's worth, at my place, peppers are also a mid-calf height. Online, I see photos of pepper plants that are waist high.

 
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