Eggplant 411: Troubleshooting Your Eggplants

“Why is there no egg in eggplant or ham in hamburger!!!” ~ Unknown

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So it’s that time again!!! Eggplant time!!! If you have been following the blog for awhile you know that I have a tenuous relationship with eggplants. Last year it took FOREVER for my eggplant plants to start fruiting. It took hand fertilizing the eggplants with a paintbrush before I finally got them to fruit. Then once I got them to start making beautiful black beauty eggplants I couldn’t get them to STOP fruiting. By the end of the season I was so over eggplants I swore I would never plant or even look at another one again.

Fast forward to late December when I started getting this year’s gardens together. There I was, strolling through the Lowe’s plant selection, minding my own business when a certain plant caught my eye. It was an elegant white eggplant seedling. How could I resist? I had never seen nor tasted an elusive white eggplant. I had to have it. However I remembered the blight of the previous year’s eggplant yield and controlled myself.

  • Lesson 1: Practice self constraint when purchasing eggplants. Instead of three eggplant plants, I would only plant two. So feeling very proud of myself for practicing such restraint I waltzed out of the store feeling confident.

Now I am proud to say I have learned a little bit about gardening since last year. As I was planting out the garden bed that would become home to these new eggplants I thought about my pollination issues. I did not want to have to hand pollinate this year which meant I needed to get enough bees in the garden to do the pollinating for me.

  • Lesson 2: Practice complimentary planting. So I surrounded my baby eggplants with aromatic herbs like basil, chives, parsley, arugula and cilantro. In case you didn’t know “my herbs bring all the bees to the yard and my yard is better than yours” (this line should be sung to the milkshake song jingle in your mind to get the full effect).

I also kept calm and continued to garden. Last year I learned that when you have flowers but no fruit there could be 2 things going on, the eggplants may not be getting enough water or they need to be hand pollinated using a paint brush. I also learned that sometimes there isn’t a problem you just need to be more patient.

  • Lesson 3: Make sure your plants are getting enough water, don’t be scared to hand pollinate if necessary and be patient! Sometimes it just takes a little bit of time.

So what was the result of these gardening lessons and self constraint? Eggplant mania of course!!! Apparently white eggplant are quite prolific. I pulled up a branch today and saw no less than 6 eggplants growing on just 1 eggplant plant!!!!

So now for what you really want to know – how does a white eggplant taste? The skin is tougher than a purple eggplant but the meat of it holds its shape better and is incredibly tasty!!!! I highly recommend adding some white eggplants to your life.

For an eggplant recipe idea that will literally have you licking the plate check out the video below!!!

How to Make Creamy Eggplant & Caramelized Onion Dip by TGD on Jumprope.

Happy planting and eating!

~ The Gardening Dietitian

 

 

 

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