To start your own plants, sow seeds in spring, under cover, in trays, using a light, slightly acid compost. To help the seeds to germinate, soak them in warm water for 24 hours. Prick out into 6-9 cm pots. If you live in a warm climate you can plant the seedlings out in your garden when they are 8-10 cm tall, into well-prepared beds, spacing them about 60 75 cm apart each way. To promote a bushy habit to the plants, pinch out their terminal growing points. In temperate climates pot up seedlings singly into 15 cm pots and plant them out only after the risk of frost has passed. Protect the plants from heavy rain, wind and low temperatures.
When the plants have reached 60 cm tall it is better to stake them to prevent them from falling. Water the plants regularly and mulch to preserve moisture. Apply a balanced fertilizer or liquid feed every two weeks during the growing season. To stimulate growth to mature plants prune them. If you want to obtain large fruits then you have to restrict the number of fruits on a plant to 5 or 6.
If you are growing you plants in a greenhouse, sow the seeds in early spring at 20-30 Celsius degrees (68-86 F) and when the seedlings are 8-10 cm tall plant them separately into 20 cm pots or growing bags and pinch out the terminal growing points. Keep the temperature above the minimum required over the growing period.
You can harvest the crops after 16-24 weeks after sowing, when the fruits reach full color and while their skin is still purple (to the purple varieties) and shiny. Cut the fruits stalks close to the plant stem. You can store the harvest fruits up to two weeks in humid conditions at 12-15 Celsius degrees (54-59 F).