How To Grow Eggplant From Seed? Growing tender, glossy eggplant (Solanum melongena) in the vegetable garden requires a little fertilizer, plenty of heat and sun and good soil, but the most important element is how you water. Infrequent or inadequate watering makes the harvest tough and spongy -- a real disappointment. Sun and Soil : Growing eggplant requires lots of sun, at least six hours per day, but more when possible. Pick a growing spot that has loamy garden soil that drains well. Eggplant doesn't grow well in heavy clay soil or soggy areas. Whenever possible, grow eggplant in a raised bed filled with high quality garden soil or topsoil. Garden Spacing If you have room, space eggplant 30 to 36 inches apart in rows 30 to 36 inches apart. If spacing is tight, you can grow the plants 18 to 24 inches apart. In small gardens where you're growing just a few plants, staggering plants rather than creating formal rows works well. Regular Watering Eggplant needs between 1 and 2 inches of water per week -- from rain, manual watering or both -- to grow well and produce a tender crop. The 1 to 2 inches of water will wet the soil 5 to 6 inches deep. Water slowly once a week so the water seeps deep into the soil rather than watering lightly more frequently. If you're growing eggplant during the winter as a perennial, set a rain gauge in the garden and add supplemental water if it registers less than 1 to 2 inches per week. Mulching the Bed In late spring, once the soil warms up to 75 degrees Fahrenheit or above, spread mulch 2 to 4 inches deep over the soil. Use an organic mulch like clean grass clippings or seed-free straw. Spread the mulch evenly but leave 1 to 2 inches of space between it and the stalks so excess moisture doesn't cause rot problems. Mulching does two things: it slows weed seed germination and it slows water evaporation.