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gorbelly August 7, 2016 02:53 PM

Flea beetles in containers?
Are flea beetles less of a problem for plants in containers in your experiences? I have never grown eggplant in containers, but I see from a lot of other people's experiences that they do really well in containers. They seem to do better in containers than tomato plants do in containers, all things being equal. So I've been thinking about moving most of my eggplants to containers next year. Just wondering if container eggplants have less of an issue with flea beetles, because that would be a real bonus.

TC_Manhattan August 7, 2016 03:01 PM

This is my second year growing eggplants in containers: 5 gallon plastic buckets from Tractor Supply, and they do grow and produce far better than I've ever had growing in ground either here or at my last house.

However, some darn way those flea beetles find them anyways, even though I have them growing up on an elevated patio. So no, that didn't lessen the bug problem for me. Also, the Japanese beetles fly over and hang out on them also.

Neat trick with the Japanese beetles. I fill a small plastic tub (1 qt. ice cream tub) with warm water and a squirt of Dawn dish liquid, then just use a stick or bamboo skewer to knock them in the water. Easiest way I've ever found to kill them and no pesticides.
Works on tomato hornworms, too, though I've been fortunate not to have them past two years with all the swallows around. :D

gorbelly August 8, 2016 01:27 PM

Well, I figured it was a long shot re: flea beetles, LOL. I wonder whether the fact that containers can get so hot in the summer--something that doesn't do tomatoes any favors--is the reason why eggplants do well in containers?

Yes, I do the thing with knocking Japanese beetles into soapy water, too. They're such clumsy fliers that it's really pretty easy. Hornworms have been a bit harder to knock off of plants for me. They really have a grip! I usually snip the leaflet they're attached to off the plant. I only get one or two hornworms that make it long enough for me to notice damage, though. I usually leave them out on the driveway for the birds.

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