'Patio Baby' Eggplant

By Susan Littlefield

Eggplants in the garden are beautiful to look at and offer lots of delicious culinary possibilities in the kitchen. But they are not always the easiest crop to grow. It can be a challenge to mature a crop in parts of the country that don't provide long, hot summers. That's why gardeners in short-season areas will welcome Patio Baby, a new compact eggplant variety that is both very early, with a days to harvest of just 45 days from transplanting, and highly productive.

In recognition of its merits, Patio Baby was named a 2014 All-America Selections Regional Vegetable Award winner for the Northeast. All-America Selections are reliable new varieties that have proven their superior garden performance in trials evaluated by impartial expert judges.

Growing only 16-20 inches tall, Patio Baby is also a great choice for container growing. Its deep purple, egg-shaped fruits should be harvested at 2-3 inch long baby size and are delicious roasted or in dips and salads. Thornless leaves and calyxes allow for painless harvesting. Plants will continue to produce fruits the entire season. As with all eggplants, wait until the weather is warm and settled before planting outside, with night temperatures reliably above 60 degrees F, and give plants regular water and fertilization for the best performance.

To find out more about Patio Baby Eggplant, go to All-America Selections. (Image courtesy of All-America Selections)

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