Answer: To get your eggplant transplants off to a good start, they should be "hardened off" a process by which you gradually expose them to the outdoors and the elements. If you haven't already done so, put them outside for a few hours in a sheltered location. Each day for a few days (up to a week) allow them to stay out longer and with more exposure to sun and wind. They should eventually stay out all night for a couple of nights, unless frost threatens. Eggplants enjoy fertile garden soil. Dig plantingholes 18"-24" apart, and put a shovelful of compost in the bottom if you have it. Plant the root ball even with the soil surface, firm the soil around the root ball, and water the plants. If you did not use compost in the planting hole, water with a dilute vegetable fertilizer. If there is danger of frost, cover the plants with a sheet or polyester garden cover at night. It's best not to grow eggplant near other members of the tomato family (potato, tomato or pepper) as they share some diseases.Some people find that eggplants seem to grow better when thyme or tarragon are grown nearby.
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