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Old February 26, 2015   #1
LindyAdele
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Default space required for eggplants

I grew two eggplants last year, and only got to eat 2 of them because the squirrels got every last one. This year I am going to try for 3 plants, and surround them with hot peppers.

I have a 4x8 foot raised bed with good soil (fluffy, lots of worms) and it gets a good amount of sun - at least 6 hours direct, full sun, and then loosely filtered light.

For those who have grown peppers and eggplants, how many can I fit in, say, a 4x6 section of my bed? I live in Ontario, the peppers and eggplants didn't get very big. If it wasn't for the squirrels, I could have had probably 8-12 eggplant on each plant.

I was thinking 3 eggplant and 3 peppers... but if I could get 3 eggplant and 6 peppers in that space, it would be even better! I am planning on beans in the remainder of the bed, and wish I had more room for them too!

(I have 2 beds dedicated to tomatoes, and that won't change, and the other is cucumbers on a trellis, and lettuce, cabbage, radishes and various greens).

Last edited by LindyAdele; February 26, 2015 at 09:40 AM.
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Old February 26, 2015   #2
saltmarsh
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I don't know how wide your beds are or how they are orientated, but mine are 4' wide and run North and South.

I interplant my tomatoes, eggplant and peppers. the tomatoes are planted in a row on the west side of the bed on 2' spacing.

The peppers are planted in a row on the east side of the bed on 2' spacing also with about 2' between the rows of tomatoes and rows of peppers.

The eggplant are planted like the peppers except they are planted 2 1/2' apart. Claud
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Old February 26, 2015   #3
LindyAdele
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Wow! I'm so jealous of the space you have!
My beds are 8 feet long, and 4 feet wide, about a foot high off the ground (mostly clay, but I have dug a foot down and put in good soil there too).

Last year, I just used a one foot space for each of my peppers and eggplant, but maybe that wasn't enough. My tomatoes are 2 feet a part, with 3 feet between the rows.

With your spacing suggestions, I think I could only get 6 plants in total rather than the 9 I was hoping for. Thanks for your helpful advice!
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Old February 26, 2015   #4
Father'sDaughter
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I do one plant per square foot with peppers and eggplants and they seem quite content.
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Old February 26, 2015   #5
Ken B
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Which varieties did y'all grow?
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Old February 26, 2015   #6
LindyAdele
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I grew Calliope which is a pretty hybrid with purple and white stripes, and Khazakstan, which is an OP from Baker Creek, small persian style eggplants, which is what i needed to make Makdoos (a syian pickled stuffed eggplant which is delicious!)
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Old February 26, 2015   #7
Tracydr
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I had an eggplant volunteer in between my AC and the sidewalk. Maybe 4" wide. That darn thing lived until it froze one winter when it was 3 1/2 years old. It produced tons and tons of eggplants. I think it loved the heat, even in AZ. It would slow down in the worst of the summer and pick right back up once night temps got back down into the low 80s.
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Old February 26, 2015   #8
bitterwort
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I grow eggplants most successfully in large black pots, the size that they put nursery trees in, one plant per pot. They seem to appreciate the extra warmth in the spring, and I can easily grow some of the larger Italian types (Prosperosa, Sfumata de Rosa, Rosa Bianca) as well as Calliope and smaller ones and get plenty of fruits. Also, in pots at home they don't have to contend with the huge populations of flea beetles that plague our community garden. You could probably rig up a hardware cloth shield to protect them from your squirrels.
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Old February 26, 2015   #9
AlittleSalt
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Lindy, thinking of the squirrels that got to your eggplants last year, I have a lot of squirrels here in and near the oak trees mostly. They leave my garden alone because there are so many other things for them to eat. Just an idea, you might get them to leave your garden alone if they had something they like to eat more?

Another idea is to put a fence with a fenced top around your 4x8' raised bed. You could make one 8' side to where you can open it like a gate. If you choose to try this, Squirrels are basically like cats and mice - if they can fit their head into a hole - they can squeeze their body through it too. Not too sure how that works, but it does.

I hope this gives you some ideas
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Old February 27, 2015   #10
luigiwu
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I like Ping Tung Long - super productive. I can't tell if its OP or hybrid - seems to be listed differently in different places...
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Old February 27, 2015   #11
saltmarsh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luigiwu View Post
I like Ping Tung Long - super productive. I can't tell if its OP or hybrid - seems to be listed differently in different places...
That's my favorite as well and it is OP. It's the only variety I grew last year, so I know my seed are true.

I had a lot of trouble finding seed for Ping Tung Long last year, so if anyone would like to try them, send a PM with your address and I'll mail a packet to you. I don't need a SASE or trade. Claud
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Old February 27, 2015   #12
LindyAdele
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlittleSalt View Post
Lindy, thinking of the squirrels that got to your eggplants last year, I have a lot of squirrels here in and near the oak trees mostly. They leave my garden alone because there are so many other things for them to eat. Just an idea, you might get them to leave your garden alone if they had something they like to eat more?

Another idea is to put a fence with a fenced top around your 4x8' raised bed. You could make one 8' side to where you can open it like a gate. If you choose to try this, Squirrels are basically like cats and mice - if they can fit their head into a hole - they can squeeze their body through it too. Not too sure how that works, but it does.

I hope this gives you some ideas
Salt, my yard has 12 trees, there are fruit trees and nut trees on my yard and neighbours. They leave my garden completely alone, save for the raspberries and the odd tomato. Except they love eggplant! Ihave rabbit fencing around two beds, but don't really want to build more. I might try netting this year...
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Old February 27, 2015   #13
Tracydr
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Ping Tung Long is my favorite,too. I tried Louisiana long green a couple of years ago and found it stringy and tough. Maybe I was waiting too long to pick but I never found PTL to be tough, even if I waited too long. I also had a Home Depot plant just called Asian Eggplant which was my favorite until it died of freezing at about 4 1/2 years of age.
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Old February 27, 2015   #14
luigiwu
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saltmarsh,
Your plot is wonderful! Do you pound rebar into the ground and then put conduit over them as the verticals?
Towards the end of last grow season, my PTLs started getted some brown "scabs" on them... have you seen that before and do you know what that is?
Also how does one save PTL seeds? do you leave them on the vine until they are super old and then harvest that eggplant or seeds?
Thanks!!
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Old February 27, 2015   #15
saltmarsh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luigiwu View Post
saltmarsh,
Your plot is wonderful! Do you pound rebar into the ground and then put conduit over them as the verticals?
Towards the end of last grow season, my PTLs started getted some brown "scabs" on them... have you seen that before and do you know what that is?
Also how does one save PTL seeds? do you leave them on the vine until they are super old and then harvest that eggplant or seeds?
Thanks!!
Luigiwu, I use a metal pipe, 12" for sandy soil, 10" for regular and clay soils.

http://tomatoville.com/showpost.php?...36&postcount=8

http://tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=35076

I haven't had any brown scabs, do you have a picture?

To save eggplant, size doesn't really matter, but the sex does. Male fruit won't have a large blossom scar, female fruit have a large blossom scar and will contain many more seeds than the male fruit. On the Ping Tung Long a 6" female fruit will have about 4 times as many seed as an 18" male fruit. (Male fruit make better eating than female fruit because of this - unless you like eggplant seeds.)

Choose several appropriate fruit and leave them on the vine until they turn brown and are overripe (kind of like a banana). When they are overripe, pick, peel and cube them. then put them in a blender with water. Pulse them for a few seconds to separate the seed from the pulp. Allow the seeds to settle to the bottom and pour the pulp off. Add more water and repeat until as much pulp as possible is removed. Start with 1/2 an eggplant until you get the hang of it. Strain the seeds in a wire mesh sink strainer, spread on paper towels and allow to dry for 2 weeks. Store at room temperature. Claud
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