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Old November 23, 2021   #1
paradajky
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Default eggplant for cooler summers?

Hi:
Which eggplant variety would you recommend for cooler summers, if any? I'm coastal, so, also tends to be more humid than dry.


From what I've read in these forums, cooler nights will reduce production, but production amount isn't really my goal, more for the novelty. I've not grown eggplants before.



Thanks!
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Old November 23, 2021   #2
atilgan
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We have cool nights but hot and dry daytime temperatures. I tried orient express (f1) this year and taste and production was very good. For an open polinated variety I would recommend diamond.
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Old November 23, 2021   #3
KarenO
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I think in general you would have better luck with a hybrid. I’ve tried a number of OP eggplants with fairly limited success. Nadia F1 is the eggplant that has done the best for me here, by far.
I tried another OP this year Thai purple ribbed) and wished I had not.
Johnnys Carries Nadia F1.
You may wish to just buy a well started hybrid plant or two in spring unless really interested in starting it from seed. The seedlings need light and warmth and do best for me in my greenhouse until it’s quite warm outdoors they will sit and sulk if it’s cool.
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Old November 23, 2021   #4
paradajky
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Okay, thank you. I have ability to start seeds indoors with a heating mat and a sunny window, but buying established plant or two is likely easier, just unsure whether or not the nurseries will carry any interesting varieties. I did that with a pepper plant, and it was a great success and so will be growing more peppers next year.
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Old November 23, 2021   #5
mecktom
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Millionaire…can’t beat it!
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Old February 23, 2022   #6
Zeedman
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I don't check in here often, so I realize this is a pretty late response. The OP white variety "Casper" does well for me in cool summers... and even seems to prefer those temperatures. It has proven to be disease resistant here (where wilt kills most eggplant varieties) and has good flavor. My only complaint about Casper would be its temperamental yield.


The white-fruited hybrid "Gretel" is far more productive, but not as resistant to disease. In a cool climate, any eggplant will do better if grown in a large pot, and Gretel is well suited for that.
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Old June 9, 2022   #7
paradajky
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FWIW, I ended up not listening to KarenO and have the following four growing so so so slowly: millionaire, rosa, kamu, and ao.

Seeds started April 7, and the plants are still quite small. Due to various reasons, I need to put them in their final pots this weekend (black pots to help with heat). I've never grown eggplant before, and have a question which, after trying to search internet for answers, I am finding conflicting answers to:
- should I plant deep like with tomatoes?


Also, for container growing, are cages or stakes better for these varieties? Any other recommendations growing them in coastal so cal?



I'm less worried about actual production here, just try to learn and experiment to see how things go. It's fun, and I'll probably be very happy if I get at least one eggplant to eat.



Thanks for anyone's help.
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Old June 9, 2022   #8
KarenO
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Don’t plant deep. Fertilizer is your friend. Put them in your warmest spot
And never, ever, ever do anything I suggest.

Good luck.
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Old June 9, 2022   #9
paradajky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenO View Post
Don’t plant deep. Fertilizer is your friend. Put them in your warmest spot
And never, ever, ever do anything I suggest.
This is one of them reverse reverse psychology things oh boy hahahaha
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Old August 1, 2022   #10
paradajky
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Not sure whether I followed or not Karen's advice?!

The plants went into black 5 gallon pots, with a hole in bottom for net pots into the rain gutter system. Container mix was same as what I did for tomatoes, 3 parts sunshine 4, 2 part bark fines, 1 part perlite, 1/2 part steer manure, and a ring of down-to-earth vege fertilizer at the top. Once I saw first flowers forming, I began top-watering once a week with agrothrive flowers/fruits/veggies (left over from last year).


Well.. had my first Kamo and Millionaire varieties this weekend, grilled over charcoal. Also compared to a store-bought eggplant. All three were delicious, amazing texture, with the Kamo winning as far as flavor - no bitterness, sweet, and fantastic. The Millionaire and store-bought were similar in flavor, with the store one have a bitterness to it.

The Millionaire now has 6 fruit set, and 22 more flowers. The Kamo has a dozen flowers and two more fruit set. The Ao is finally catching up (seeds did not germinate, so it's 2-3 weeks behind) and has 3 flowers. The Italian Rosa Bianca has just presented its first flowers now, this one is a mid-late variety.

So far, these are turning out way better than my tomatoes! No mealyness, no excessive growth, no end rot, etc. Something seems to have begun eating the leaves, I found a couple caterpillar eggs this morning, but no hornworms or anything similar yet.
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File Type: jpg kamo.jpg (129.7 KB, 33 views)
File Type: jpg eggplants.jpg (232.9 KB, 33 views)
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Old September 25, 2022   #11
paradajky
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End of season wrap-up: the three japanese eggplants were all delicious. Kamo was my favorite and slightly sweet, Ao was super creamy, and the Millionaire was good overall (and most productive). I did not like the italian rosa bianca, the eggplants were all very bitter, no matter what stage they were picked. All fruits became progressively smaller into August. Millionaire still has a few thumb-sized fruit now.

All the plants got hit with powdery mildew into September, though they seemed to still live. I took my eye off for a couple weeks and the caterpillars got to the plants. They look terrible now, I will however cut them back and see if they can survive the fall and winter.

One of the italian rosa bianca eggplants produced a yellow eggplant. Looks like an emo pokemon.
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