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General information and discussion about cultivating eggplants/aubergines.

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Old August 10, 2006   #1
michael johnson
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Default How do you grow egg plants realy well- I failed.

Does anyone know the best culture info for egg plants, I personaly have been struggling to grow them properly for about six years now and still havn't mastered it.

I tend to grow them on the same lines as tomatoes-which I do grow well,

But I am having cutural problems with egg plants all the way through, this season I managed to grow fairly robust specimens and healthy- but as soon as they started flowering the flowers are dropping off and not setting-despite me hand polinating them.

What I realy need is a sort of cultural instruction data or book on their culture and basic growing needs in order to adjust my growing methods and compost needs accordingly.

Any sort of basic needs info or help would be greatly appreciated, as I am determined to master the growth of them properly. 8)
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Old August 10, 2006   #2
nctomatoman
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Here is exactly what I do. I start eggplant as I do tomatoes - transplant into 4 inch pots, deeply, just like tomatoes. I then move them into their final resting place - for me 5 gallon pots - in a mix of soilless mix and composted cow manure. They are in direct sun, right on my light colored concrete - so they warm up very quickly. Early on, with the flea beetle issue, I spray with Sevin until the plants start growing vigorously and blossoming. I use a slow release granular every two weeks, and water in the morning and evening. I stake with 3 foot stakes (the plants are on the concrete, but against my lawn - the stakes go into the lawn, not in the pots, since the plants get very heavy with fruit and would pull over the stake if it were in the pot). I start harvesting in about 50-60 days from transplant into the large pots, and end up picking 10-20 fruit from each plant - and grow all sorts, from the large bell types to the slender Asian types.

Anything in this description that you can grab onto, in terms of identifying your issues?
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Old August 10, 2006   #3
Althea
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The only helpful thing I can add is from Rodale's Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening. It says to mix 2 lbs of composted cow manure per plant into the soil before planting. Topdress with compost after transplanting. Then in July, topdress with compost again.
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Old August 10, 2006   #4
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I would add that I use espoma tomato tone, 4-7-10 with micros-it a granular and I foliar feed with a 2-15-15 and kelp. Eggplants like heat and sun, and I have some blossom drop in our intense 100-105 degree heat, but still get plenty of fruit. Right now I am harvesting applegreen, casper and ping tung long.
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Old August 10, 2006   #5
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I start out with good intentions but don't do as much followup after planting, with additional fertilizer. I also used a bit of tomato tone in my containers. Of my 4 locations for eggplants the ones doing best are the ones inside the cold frame, blocked from the wind. I think the wind plus heat is not great for production.
Still I am getting a few from Ping tung, Round Mauve, White Italian, Ukranian Beauty, and Thai Long Green. Thai Round Green is growing very slowly and is the garden dirt...
Insects can really slow them up if unchecked.

Jeanne
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Old August 11, 2006   #6
michael johnson
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Thanks Nctomatoman and the other kind folks, that very usefull information, I shall work along those lines in future- I do hate to be beaten by a plant problem, and usualy stick at it until I have managed to crack it.

One thing that realy suprised me though-was that I surfed the net a bit for info on egg plant culture, and up came a turkish web site in english, that grew egg plants on a large scale as produce for local markets etc, and they recomended using lots of feeds of Amonium Nitrate until flower set-then changing onto a high potash feed.

( Amonium Nitrate ) is a very fast high nitrogen feed- I didnt have egg plants down as nitrogen guzzlers- but according to them they say the plants need it for rapid leaf production, and as a result grow 5 or six foot high- "WoW".
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Old August 11, 2006   #7
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Hi Mike,

I've been using some of this since running out of other things this year; & it does the job very well according to me:
Jack's Classic All Purpose Plant Food

I bought mine at my local Agway for $14.00; it's a giant bucket I dare say! Well fed plants stay disease free; & fight off a host a problems.
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Old August 11, 2006   #8
Chicago_Joe
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Quote:
and end up picking 10-20 fruit from each plant
Wow Craig, that's alot per plant. I grow eggplant every year and only get 5 or 6 per plant. I grow them in ground, sunny location and compost. I grow the italian varieties.
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Old August 11, 2006   #9
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My yield of peppers and eggplant are much higher grown in pots than the ground - suspect it is because of the heat factor (root zones much warmer in the pots!). Give it a try!
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Old August 12, 2006   #10
michael johnson
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Polar_lace, that Jacks classic stuff is realy good stuff, as its basicly simular to a very good general fertiliser we have over here in the Uk.

Its got all the same trace elements in it as ours- its the Boron and Molydynium and zinc, that tomatoes seem to realy like.

Next season- I am going to try what Craig suggested and put all my egg plants into large pots- together with a good dash of cow manure mixed in.
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Old August 15, 2006   #11
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I'm growing Eggplants in pots in my little greenhouse as well as in the garden. The GH plants are about 2x the size of the garden plants and producing 2x more fruits. I grow in black gro bags. For soil I'm using about 1/2 pine bark, 1/4 potting soil, 1/4 sand or so, plus Miracle Gro for Tomatoes every 2 weeks at 1/2 strength. I stake them up with those little green bamboo sticks stuck into the pot soil, which is a little too flimsy I'm finding.
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Old September 3, 2006   #12
matermama
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Default eggplant

well i m new to the eggplant , mine where a far cry from ever doing anything. I was about to pull them up and i was told about a foliar spray and a plant fortifier.
THE Plant fortifier is called Dunkels Original, it is quiet pricey but the results are worth it, i only wish i had found it sooner in the season. It helped my eggplants ( rosa bianca ) tremendously!!
The other is a foliar spray calld Neptunes Harvest unless you already know of it ?
My plants were siclky looking !!!! i was about to pull them up. I sprayed and used the foliar spray once a month them alternating the two, in about 4 weeks i really saw a difference, maybe it was the stuff or maybe just sheeer dumb luck :wink: i don't know. But i will be using the DUnkles next yr on my eggplants from the very start.
Maybe the Rosa Bianca is a no brainer eggplant ?? I don't know, but i have 3-5 flowers on each plant and have 2 fruit on each one right now,
well i hope it helps I have also herd of a garlic spray that works wonders on beetles ,but didn't try it yet.
sue
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Old September 6, 2006   #13
JohnF
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I grow them in 12" pots in Pro Mix Bx and they do well and are productive. In this cold Maine climate I think the pots warm up better than the ground ( plus the Pro Mix is superior to my soil) I start them inside about when I start my tomatoes.

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Old September 6, 2006   #14
matermama
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Default wow

oh those look wonderful
which varietys did you grow ?
i m sure looking forward to next season to try it out in pots.
thanks
sue
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Old September 6, 2006   #15
JohnF
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I grow several varieties, both the Asian and globe varieties do well--like to try things I haven't grown--Black Champion, Ichiban, Ebony King, Mangan, and Ping Tung Long among others have done well for me. I have tried Rosa Bianca several times with poor results. Perhaps it need a longer season.

An added advantage is that with their pretty flowers and foliage they make a decorative plant
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