Eggplants will begin to flower and set fruit 6 to 8 weeks after transplanting. After that it will take about 3 weeks for the fruit to be ready although it can be harvested and eaten at any earlier stage of development. Pick fruits when they are about 4 to 6 inches in diameter.
Fruit should be harvested while still glossy. When the color dulls, the seeds become dark and the flesh becomes bitter. Because the stems are tough, use a sharp knife or hand clippers to remove the fruit from the plant.
Eggplants do not have a long shelf life and should be used quickly after harvest. They will keep for about 7 to 10 days at 45° to 50° F.