Last year I grew about 150 plants; Black Beauty, globe Italian kinds, Rosa (lavender) kinds, Asian (long) kinds, and a few heirlooms like Listada da Gandia. What you plant depends on your preference and how mauch yield you want for eating. I pick eggplant usually once each week; twice each week at the peak of the season. Eggplant need lots of heat and long daylight hours to do their best....they start thriving here when the temperatures start averaging around 95. If your area doesn't get into the 90s with regularity, expect lower yields than if you were someplace with hot summers. I know that SoCal can vary quite a bit depending on if you are coastal, inland or whatnot. If you like higher yields go for the Asian (tapered) varieties. Listada da Gandia is a medium sized fruit (not to mention gorgeous) but yields quite a lot; it wasn't unusual to pick 5-7 per plant each week....as opposed to 1-2 Black Beauties most weeks. The bigger the fruit is is, the fewer the plant produces and the longer it takes. Also, you need a regular fertilizer program for plants to do well....don't just stick it in the ground and forget to feed them. I hope this helps.