The hybrid by which all eggplants are measured. Classic eggplant's elongated oval, green calyxed fruit are the size and shape well known in markets. The glossy, deep purple-black color of Classic is preferred by customers, and its erect, vigorous plant supports heavy yields of high quality fruit. Classic is the absolute standard for premium eggplant. Not adapted to the cool winter growing areas such as Florida and Mexico.
BEST TO START INDOORS In early spring, start indoors about six to eight weeks before night temperatures reach 55° (13°C). Sow seeds 1/4 inch deep and 1 inch apart in containers of seed starting mix. Keep moist and warm, 80-85°F (27-29°C) and provide a strong light source until ready to plant outside. When seedlings are 2 inches tall, transplant into 4-inch pots. Maintain at 70-75°F (21-24°C). Feed with half-strength fertilizer every 2 weeks until weather is warm, then gradually acclimate seedlings to outdoor conditions.
Transplant In Pots: Plant 1 to a pot 12 inches across and deep, or plant several seedlings 8 inches apart in larger containers at least 16 to 18 inches across and deep.
In Garden Beds: Amend soil with compost or aged manure, then plant in full sun 2 feet apart.
GROWING NOTES Transplant outdoors only when nights are securely above 55° (13°C). For containers, always use new, high quality potting mix. Plant only robust seedlings with well-developed roots and mulch them well. Feed regularly every few weeks throughout the season with good all-purpose fertilizer.
HARVEST AND USE Pick often from productive plants when fruits size up glossy and firm-fleshed and before skins get dull. Enjoy these handy-sized eggplants halved or in thick slices sautéed with garlic and herbs or grilled to succulence on the barbeque.
CULTURE Soil temperature: 75 - 80 degrees fahrenheit Germination days: 8 - 14 days Grow on temperature day: 65 - 70 degrees fahrenheit Weeks indoor: 6 - 7 weeks Maturation days: 76 days