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General information and discussion about cultivating eggplants/aubergines.

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Old October 27, 2018   #1
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Williamsburg VA Zone 7b
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Default Eggplant: single or double stem?

I love growing my tomatoes by lean & lower with baling string and plant clips.

I know I won't have to "lower" my eggplants but I'd like to use the same method. A couple questions to those that use twine and clips:

1) single, double, triple stem?
2) spacing between plants?
3) how do you like this method for eggplants vs. wire cages?
4) other tips

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Old October 27, 2018   #2
Rajun Gardener
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Location: Lafayette La
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I string mine and let all the suckers grow. It seems more suckers, more eggplants. They do get heavy when loaded with 6-8 eggplants but I'd rather have more production.

It also depends on the type you're growing, some varieties are able to grow fine without breaking branches with just one string holding up the main branch/stalk.
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Old October 28, 2018   #3
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Default suckering eggplant?

Do you normally cut suckers from your eggplants? I am definitely interested to hear from people that do overhead twine and clips, though I haven't used that method for eggplant as yet.

For eggplant I've been doing a double row diamond with about 15-18" spacing (15-18" equilateral triangles) and basically stick and string (florida weave) the parallel rows individually for two weaves. Then an exterior box around the double row to allow a diamond weave between the two rows for the last weave or two. The diamond must be performed with bundled string, not directly from the box, as the bundle is the "shuttle". I re-use old string bundles and splice as necessary. Harder to explain than to do, and plenty of support. I've been letting all suckers grow, and it has worked well for three seasons. I do similar for peppers but 12" diamond. I haven't tried cages that I can recall.

The first couple years I did eggplant I tied string to the top of a tall stake and wrapped it down the main stem, but the other stems would fall and split from the wind when they got weight on them. I didn't use clips. I really like the diamond as it allows use of ag19 over a double row before the weaving starts. The only drawback is finding false potato beetle larvae, as the foliage gets dense.
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Old October 28, 2018   #4
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Location: Williamsburg VA Zone 7b
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Thanks for the info. I looked at some pictures of greenhouse eggplant - it did not look like they pruned either. It would also be easy enough to run additional lines to any branch that's bearing heavy.

Other greenhouses apparently to prune. One "how to" indicates that they allow a second branch to develop 8 to10 inches high. I'll probably try a couple different ways especially with the bigger plants of black beauty / black king and see what works.

I love the ease of single stem tomato growing. With our disease pressure and hot humid summers it seems to really work. I have producing vines over 25 feet long!

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Old October 28, 2018   #5
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Double works for me.
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Old 1 Day Ago   #6
Join Date: Jun 2010
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I think not all varieties are suitable for 1 or 2 stems only (the moderns hybrids 'for greenhouse' should definitely be). Most advice I've seen for commercial growing is to prune at first to 2-3 stems (until maybe second fruit) and then let it go.
One problem I can see with lowering is that they become woody fast, not sure how that would work.
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