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Eggplant question

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Eggplant question

Post  sherryeo on 6/6/2011, 11:52 pm

I have 2 very healthy looking Black Beauty eggplants in my sfgs. Each has 2 baby eggplants and many more blooms. Is it ok to let the plant set as many fruits as it likes? Or should I pinch off the blossoms after a certain number of baby fruits set? I tried searching old posts and even googled it, but didn't really see the issue addressed. Any advice? Thanks much.
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Re: Eggplant question

Post  westie42 on 6/7/2011, 12:01 am

Additional blooms has not been a problem in my climate. When gone for a while once I pulled half a dozen nice black beauties off one plant in a single picking and it produced more later. They are a nightshade too and grow like a determinate tomato so I say leave well enough alone and harvest away later. Late in the season they go nuts trying to produce the fruit color is not good but the taste is fine then.

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Re: Eggplant question

Post  shannon1 on 6/7/2011, 2:25 am

Sherry I like to pick mine while they are still kind of small and not bitter. The only reason to limit the number is to encourge bigger fruit. It is a personal choice I have read some limit to 4 fruits that is just not my style. I would rather have more smaller fruits.
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Re: Eggplant question

Post  camprn on 6/7/2011, 6:39 am

@westie42 wrote:Additional blooms has not been a problem in my climate. When gone for a while once I pulled half a dozen nice black beauties off one plant in a single picking and it produced more later. They are a nightshade too and grow like a determinate tomato so I say leave well enough alone and harvest away later. Late in the season they go nuts trying to produce the fruit color is not good but the taste is fine then.
+1, the blooms the merrier! Very Happy
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Eggplant question

Post  sherryeo on 6/7/2011, 8:16 pm

Thanks, westie, Shannon and camprn, I think it's a good idea to pick them while they're smaller. I doubt that they would get as big as the eggplant you buy in the store, anyway. I'm glad that I don't have to pinch the blossoms out. I'm not sure I would have had the heart to do it, anyway!

I tried eggplant last year in a traditional row garden. They just didn't do really well. So far, these plants are looking so much healthier than those from last year. (Can you say "Mel's Mix?") I keep expecting to see flea beetles, like last year, but haven't so far. I don't know if it's just early in the summer for them or if "hiding" them in the midst of my other veggies might be making them harder for the beetles to detect. Whatever the reason, I'll take it!

Thanks again for your help! My baby eggplants are growing bigger each day!
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Re: Eggplant question

Post  shannon1 on 6/7/2011, 11:50 pm

No flea beetles on my eggplants but the grasshoppers seem to like them. I have never seen so many grasshoppers. When I talked to my next door neighbor, Joyce, we were discusing grasshoppers and caterpillers she kept lumping them together as "caterhoppers" now that's what we call both. My neighbor and fellow gardener that just moved down from CO saw me in the garden this morining and asked how things were going. I said "I'm battling the caterhoppers." His face looked like this affraid as he asked "What are those?"
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Re: Eggplant question

Post  sherryeo on 6/8/2011, 12:00 am

Oh No!!! Not the dreaded caterhopper!
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