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Old May 13, 2017   #1
bad.kelpie
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Default Are these eggplants?

I had some mystery plants come up in my garden. I think they're eggplant seedlings. There are about 5 or 6, I think, all in one area, so I'm thinking a stray eggplant got itself planted from last year.

I planted 2 varieties last year, both bought as plants. One was supposed to be Ichiban, but the fruits never got more than 4" long, the other was "Patio Baby", I believe from a bonnie plant. That plant got dwarfed by some tomato plants so it barely grew and only made 1 teeny tiny little eggplant barely the size of a grape tomato. I know I didn't harvest that tomato, and all my extra plants were pulled up and left in the bed for longer than I planned, so anything could have dropped and gotten buried in the debris and left to germinate. I can't imagine these seedlings are from that tiny eggplant though. Probably from whatever was supposed to be ichiban.

If they are eggplants even, what do you think?
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Old May 13, 2017   #2
gdaddybill
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Looks like eggplants to me. If they weren't good last year they may be worse this year.
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Old May 13, 2017   #3
clkeiper
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they look like egg plant to me, too and can I say.... Amazing? I have a hard time getting them to germinate on heat pads in the greenhouse and never outside in the garden. congrats on that. if it is a patio baby the fruit only gets to about the size of an egg. ichiban you should pick at about 4 -5 in if I recall correctly ( and you don't... I went and looked it up. it is a 10" fruit. I must have been thiking the hansel and gretel series.... which I have grown). they look to be small enough to dig and transplant. make sure you water them about an hour before you want to move them leaving a nice root ball of soil with them. then put a paper tent over them to reaclimate and grow roots for a few days. then put them somewhere they will get full sun and about 2' of space to grow.
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Old May 13, 2017   #4
bad.kelpie
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The ichiban were either crosses or mislabled. They would grow to 4 or 5 inches and stop, if I left them in the garden longer, they'd get slightly bulbous like this one here.

They actually happen to be growing in possibly the only spot I could plant them in this bed, so I'll probably pull the smallest ones and let one or 2 grow right where they are.
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Old May 13, 2017   #5
clkeiper
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those just look like patio baby eggplants.... probably mislabled.
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Old May 13, 2017   #6
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They would be good put in a salt brine.
I used to buy the little white ones from a Korean market.
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Old May 13, 2017   #7
bad.kelpie
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That's probably why they didn't grow too big, the plants were maybe 1.5 - 2 feet tall. They came from a local nursery that used to be really good, then changed owners several times and now they sell hybrid tomatoes and Cherokee purple, like every other place around here.

I'm not a huge eggplant fan, but I like them sautéed with zucchini, so they can stay
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Old May 6, 2018   #8
bad.kelpie
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I thought I'd update this since it's still on the first page. These were not, in fact, happy little eggplant babies. They are Chinese Lanterns, and they're INVASIVE. I got some free year before last, with some tomato plants. I planted them, they didn't do anything, I forgot about them. Then last year, at the end of the year, my sister pulled out one of these from her garden bed (I happily shared my "eggplants" with her), and it had the papery little lantern thing. Then I remembered planting them. I still didn't know they were invasive until this year, when a third of my garden bed and 1/4 of hers was these stupid things.
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Old May 7, 2018   #9
ScottinAtlanta
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Boil them and pickle them.
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Old May 8, 2018   #10
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Chinese Lanterns ARE invasive. Last year I had one. Now they are all over the place. But luckily they are not near my main garden.
On Eggplants: I love them. This year I have Thai and Japanese Echiban.they don,t get bitter and produce well.
To Prepare: Slice them. Either sprinkle salt on them or soak in brine. Afterwards, rinse and towel dry. Then brush beaten egg white on (thinly) and fry with little oil..
You can bake them in oven to hold the oil. Or just brush a little on.
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