Eggplants should be picked 16 to 24 weeks after they have been sowed. Eggplants should begin indoors, roughly two months before the last frost in spring. In many areas of the United States, harvest occurs in August or early September.
When an eggplant is ripe for picking, the skin has a dark purple and glossy appearance. If an eggplant is picked and brown seeds are inside, the eggplant was picked too late and is past its prime. An eggplant should be cut 1 inch from the stem, leaving behind a small portion. Following harvest, eggplant can be stored for up to two weeks at 50 degrees Fahrenheit before spoiling.