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Brazilian Red Eggplant Solanum gilo


This vibrant red vegetable is worth growing just to look at. The scarlet fruits are the size of an egg and each plant produces loads of them. Plants grow to 5' and do just fine in containers or your garden. They need rich soil, full sun, regular water, are very easy to grow.

Gilo was brought to the Americas from West Africa during the slave trade. It is still grown in West Africa, where it is sometimes called "garden egg". It's widely grown in Brazil, where it is known as jiló. The fruit ripens to orange-red, but is usually picked while it is green and sweet.

Grill it, stuff it, add it to stews, or just put it in a bowl and admire it. This is a beauty.


Thoroughly moisten your seed-starting mix, and then fill your pots/containers to within 1/2" of the top.

Place two or three seeds into each small container or each cell of a seed starter. Cover the seed with about 1/4" of soil.

Water to ensure good seed-to-mix contact. You can use a plant mister or just dribble a stream of water over the top. You don't need to soak the soil, just moisten the top layer.
(You don't want to heavily water and "push" seeds to deep that they can't germinate.)

Keep the mix moist but not soaking wet. Lay some plastic kitchen wrap and a rubber band over pots to keep in heat and moisture.

Place the pots in a warm, sunny spot or on top of a heat mat. (Seeds won't germinate until the soil itself is 75-80 degrees.)

Check pots daily. As soon as you see sprouts, remove the covering and place the pots in a sunny window or under grow lights, keeping the lights just an inch or two above the tops of the plants.

10 seeds

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