Saturday Spotlight – Bonica Eggplant

I have been growing Bonica eggplants for a few years now and so far they’ve never let me down.  Bonica is a pretty standard large purple oval shaped eggplant, not dissimilar to those that you see in the shops.

Bonica Eggplant

Eggplant is one of those weird veg that definitely tastes much better when you grow your own but is hard to describe in what way.  Fresher somehow and richer.  Hmm I’m really not doing a great job in describing the taste am I?  Perhaps I’d better stick with how I grew them:

This year I sowed seed at the very end (the 30th) of June.  I potted up the seedlings before planting them out in October.  I harvested my first fruits on the 26th of January.  This year I planted the eggplants in a part of the garden that gets  partial sun (about 6-7 hours of sun a day).  I have kept them well fed and watered.  I find that eggplants do like a bit of food.  A friend of mine has a plant which I gave her from the same batch of seedlings.  She planted it out in an old bed without fertilising or adding fresh food in any form and it just hasn’t grown at all.  Its still about 20cm high and hasn’t flowered let alone fruited.

Harvest Basket

So far my 2 Bonica plants have produced 5kg of fruit and I estimate that I’ve harvested about a third of what the plants should eventually produce.  I suspect the yield would be higher if I was able to grow them in full sun.

I have also grown Bonica in pots in the past.  Whilst the plants didn’t get as big and the yield was not as large as ones grown in the ground they still did well and fruited nicely.  Personally I think they make quite attractive pot plants.

I always stake my eggplants regardless of where I plant them as the fruits tend to weigh the branches down quite considerably.

Unfortunately I can’t seem to locate a linky plugin for WordPress that actually works so instead I will put links to your posts in mine.  If you write a Spotlight then let me know in the comments and I will link to it in both this and next weeks posts.  Just as a warning – I have quite a hectic weekend planned so it may take me a while to add them on this one occasion.

In case you missed them other Saturday Spotlights to date include:

Our Happy Acres – Oakleaf lettuce

Seed to Table – Golden Corn Salad

Suburban Tomato – Yugoslav Tomatoes

Suburban Tomato – Majestic Butter Beans

And the newest additions:

Our Happy Acres – Purple Queen Bush Bean which if nothing else is worthy of investigation for the rhyming name alone.

City Garden, Country Garden – Sorrel

My Little Garden Project – Big Rainbow Tomato

Garden Glut – Minnesota Midget Melons

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25 Responses to Saturday Spotlight – Bonica Eggplant

  1. Pingback: Saturday Spotlight: Purple Queen Bush Bean | Our Happy Acres

  2. Dave says:

    I’m with you on homegrown eggplant. It is so much better tasting I think, and never bitter unless you leave it on too long. I usually grow a few in containers as well as the ones in the ground. I can always find something to do with extra eggplants! I really like them grilled.

    My spotlight this week is purple too: Purple Queen bush beans. It will be time to plant some here before long.

  3. Jo says:

    It took three years for me to get an aubergine (eggplant) to fruit. Once I’d succeeded, I never bothered growing them again. We don’t eat them often, but the challenge of growing them was fun.

  4. We’ve had similar experiences to Jo but will be trying again this year

  5. What a beguilingly cute variety of eggplant! They’re definitely better homegrown, I’d agree, which may be because they’re perishable and quickly become bitter with age.

  6. Mark Willis says:

    Maybe it was Beginner’s Luck, but I grew Aubergines for the first time last year (Pintung Long) and had no difficulty getting them to produce fruit. However, I’m not that keen on Aubergines, so I have decided that it is not worth devoting precious space to them. But I fully acknowledge that they are about the best-looking veg in existence.

  7. Sarah says:

    I’ve never managed to get an eggplant to produce as much fruit as you’re getting. After two poor summers, I decided not to bother this year – with any luck this means we’ll have a long, hot summer perfect for growing eggplants!

  8. 5kg from 2 plants is amazing, well done! I think we have 1 from our two plants (one eggplant, not 1kg!). But reading your post it’s immediately obvious to me that the problem is the soil. They are in a wine barrel that grew stuff last season and didn’t get reinvigorated before putting the plants in. A good reminder… 🙂

    I’d love to join in your Saturday Spotlight, although late, I’ll try to post something later today.

  9. Louise says:

    You know I love an eggplant and you know mine have been pretty unsuccessful this year ( along with everything else). They look so beautiful and taught and dark…thanks for your review of them. BTW I have a Saturday Spotlight that I posted Friday… too impatient. It was on my Minnesota Midget Melons.

  10. bumblelush says:

    I’ve never grown eggplant and have never been able to cook them well. They always seem to come out rubbery for me. But I think they’re so pretty in the garden. My friend grew eggplants in a container last year, so I may try that too. I won’t give up on them!

    • Liz says:

      I think that eggplant either needs to be cooked in its skin and then used with other flavourings or cooked in slices with a reasonable amount of oil to taste really good. Salt also helps…. My containers have always done well – not as prolific as the garden ones but eggplants nonetheless.

  11. Michelle says:

    What a happy coincidence, I wanted to try a new variety of eggplant this year and it happens to be Bonica, my seeds just arrived yesterday. I’m really happy to know that it does so well for you.

    I agree about homegrown eggplant, it is much tastier than storebought. No new Spotlight post from me this week, but I’m planning one for next week. Thanks for coordinating the spotlight posts, I’m enjoying them and hope that more bloggers join in.

    • Liz says:

      We had a couple more people join in this week which is nice. I hope the Bonica do well for you, I imagine they will as you grow such beautiful Solanacae.

  12. kitsapFG says:

    Eggplants are such an beautiful plant in the garden. Unfortunately I am the only one that will eat them in my family and a little goes a long way for me… so I tend to not grow them. I may just have to do a plant those this year, because your post is inspiring me to do so. 😀

    • Liz says:

      Just one – I’m the only one who really enjoys them in my family too but as the gardener I do think i deserve a few indulgences.

  13. alyse says:

    What pretty shiny Eggplants, wow 5kg!? what are you feeding those things? I have done Saturday spotlight on my favourite tomato this summer http://mylittlegardenproject.blogspot.com.au/2013/03/saturday-spotlight-big-rainbow-tomato.html.

  14. Diana says:

    Ohhhh please tell me where you got the bonica eggplant seeds from?
    I look for them before I went back but could not find any bonica eggplant seeds.
    I don’t have any problem getting seeds from overseas so I am able to purchase seeds in Australia if they are able to send it overseas.
    I really like the bonica eggplants.

  15. Helen says:

    I just harvested a 805g Bonica eggplant a few days ago, just a few days into Winter. The same plant has produced prolifically all Summer, kilos and kilos. I’m just sad it is a hybrid and I can’t save the seeds from my enormous fruit. I sliced it up and we had eggplant parmigiana for tea tonight. I expect the same plant will produce for a second season. It is in full sun, raised wicking bed, plenty of compost tea fertiliser. South Australia.

    • Liz says:

      Hi Helen,

      Have you tried saving Bonica seed before? If not, I reckon its probably worth a go. I have harvested some Bonica seed which I’m hoping will come true. I find most solanacae do so I’m pretty hopeful that this will too. 805g is a fab sized fruit!

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