EGGPLANT Turkish Orange - 15 Seeds
Turkish Orange is an African species with a vibrant, non-bitter flavour and a charming round shape. And that's not to mention the orange colour with stripes!
Turkish Orange sets fruits the size of tennis balls. Unlike many heirloom vegetables, it is a very heavy producer -- expect a long and fruitful season of 3-inch-diameter eggplants from very compact plants you can grow in containers as well as the garden. And even though Turkish Orange is always photographed in its full deep orange regalia, the fruit is actually best picked when the fruits begin to turn from green to cream. They may not look as pretty on the chopping board at this stage, but their sweet succulence is at its height! (However, they are so charming as they turn orange, and the stripes intensify that you may be tempted to grow one Turkish Orange plant just as an ornamental! Why not? You can enjoy the pretty fruit for weeks, then feed the compost pile!)
You need never salt this eggplant. It is far sweeter than Asian varieties, with a tender bite that you'll fall in love with. Use it just as you would; it's purple and white cousins in all kinds of dishes.
And the best part is that this plant is petite enough to grow in patio containers. So even if you don't have space for even one more plant in the sunny garden, Turkish Orange will grow happily in a tall planter, tub, or another large container. It reaches 18 to 22 inches high and has much larger yields than big Asian eggplants, twice or three times its size!
Begin seeds indoors 8 to 10 weeks before planning to set out. Eggplant loves heat, so the seeds germinate best at about 24 degrees C - use a heat mat if possible, beneath or seed flat, or find another source of bottom heat if your house is cooler than this. Cover the seeds lightly if sowing in a seed flat; They will germinate in about 1 to 2 weeks.
The seedlings crave heat and light; give them all you can (grow lights are wonderful, but kitchen fluorescents work well too if the seedlings are placed directly beneath them) and feed them weekly. They are ready to transplant whenever they have at least 2 sets of true leaves but wait until the outside weather is thoroughly warm before transplanting into a garden or patio container.
Turkish Orange is a heavy bearer, so you might want to stake the plant to hold up the big bounty of fruit.
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