eggplant flowers?

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  #1  
Old 07-04-01, 01:19 PM
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For the first time, I planted black beauty eggplant this year. The plant is beautiful except for one thing. Ive kept it in my greenhouse all spring, and everytime the flowers open up, they just seem to fall off a few days later without producing fruit. What am I doing wrong? Also, are the flowers supposed to open durting the day and close at night? Thanks.
 
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  #2  
Old 07-04-01, 05:03 PM
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Bomber,
The eggplants aren't sill in the greenhouse are they? If so, the flowers are probably not getting pollinated, and the flower then falls off. I'd move them outside quick. It's certainly not to late. Mine are just starting to blom now.
good luck,
fred
 
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Old 07-04-01, 07:31 PM
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Fred,
I actually thought about the idea of moving the plant outside before I posted. So I did move the big 5 gallon bucket outside onto the deck earlier. I thought that in the greenhouse it would get pollinated since the cucumber I have in there did, and it is flourishing. Also, I live in zone 6, and the temperature is supposed to be down to around 53 or 54 at night for the rest of the week. Will that do damage to the plant? I know it is a hearty plant, but I dont know of the temperature limits. Thanks again.

Eric
 
  #4  
Old 07-04-01, 07:54 PM
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Temperatures in the fifties should be no problem. I usually
harvest my last eggplants just after the last frost. Low thirties will end their cycle. My bigges problem with eggplants is the tiny flea beetle. They sort of pepper the leaves with tiny holes.
fred
 
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Old 07-05-01, 12:40 PM
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Thanks again for the advice Fred. I cant wait to get home and see if the bees were working today!

Eric
 
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Old 07-05-01, 04:47 PM
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Eggplant blossoms fall off

The flower midge or thrips can also cause eggplants to drop blossoms. These can be treated with soapy water solution, oil spray, or malathion. Many plants produce more blossoms than the plant can develop into fruit, thus extra blossoms are aborted. Bee pollinated plants will drop blossoms if not pollinated.
 
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Old 07-05-01, 07:12 PM
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Twelvepole,
What exactly do you mean by the "flower midges or thrips"? Like I said, I am new to eggplants and any advice I can get to get this plant to fruit would be greatly appreciated.

Eric
 
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Old 07-05-01, 08:01 PM
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Blossom drop on eggplant

Flower midges and thrips are insect pests. If you have any evidence of insects, you will need to treat. I think, however, that the problem is probably the lack of pollination from bees. Bee pollinated plants need to be outdoors.
 
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Old 07-06-01, 09:39 AM
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Well, it is outside now, so lets see what happens
 
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Old 07-13-01, 09:42 AM
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Hi guys!
Are there any ways to help the bees along? Ive seen bees all around the plant for the past week, and I know they are working, but still no fruit? Anything I can do? Thanks.

Eric
 
  #11  
Old 07-13-01, 11:09 AM
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Bomber,
Patience is a virtue. Give it a little more time.
fred
 
  #12  
Old 07-16-01, 04:41 PM
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Hi All,

OK, I have to jump in here. Eggplant, from what I've read because I've never grown it, are supposed to be self-pollinating. So what am I missing? Why are Bomber's plants not producing eggplants?

Could it be because, like corn, he doesn't have enough plants or rows of it for the wind to carry it?

Sorry, but I love to learn.

Thanks,

Gami
 
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Old 07-16-01, 05:45 PM
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Hi All,
Mr. Crockett never mentioned to me that eggplants were self-pollinating.
Anyway, I did my Google search and found "although eggplants have perfect flowers, and self-pollination would not be expected to be a problem, bees are required for good pollination. Usually, wild bees are adequate, but if they are not present, bees should be provided." and "insects are required to transfer the pollen to the stigma in appropriate amounts and at the right time."
What really surprised me was that sometimes male-sterile plants are found. I haven't found one yet.
If the first flowers were not pollinated and dropped, it will take additional time for the plant to send out more flowers. Hopefully, Bomber will have eventual success.

Gami's wind theory is interesting, and certainly true with corn. I used to wonder if one-row gardeners ever got any filled ears of corn. I used to plant my rows so close that you really couldn't walk down a row. This also helped hold up most of the stalks with a strong wind storm.
fred
fred
 
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Old 07-16-01, 08:14 PM
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Hi Fred,

Mr. Crockett? As in Davey?

That's one way of getting out of buying stakes. Actually, I've never bought stakes for corn before! Hey, it might just work!

The reason I asked is because I did a "Google" search a few days ago, but didn't want to say anything at the time. Things work on me, and I need to know why. I also read that bees are necessary. I should have said that. The info I gathered was contradictory. I also read about male sterile plants. I was totally confused after searching and don't remember that ever happening before.

Bomber, good luck on getting eggplants.

Gami
 
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Old 07-16-01, 08:58 PM
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Gami,
I'm surprised, maybe you're younger than I thought.
James Underwood Crockett, the original host and creator of Crockett's Victory Garden, now known as simply The Victory Garden. Unfortunately, Mr. Crockett passed away in 1979. He is truly missed. The PBS show hasn't been quite the same since.

PS: Corn: Never staked them, however have bought mineral oil and a cheap transistor radio.
OK - answer below.
A couple drops of mineral oil in the silk will keep out corn borers.
The radio was placed in the garden at night just before the corn was about ready to pick - actually kept out the raccoons.
fred
 
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Old 07-16-01, 09:10 PM
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Hi Fred,

I MUST be younger than you think. I've only heard of "The Victory Garden". I'm sure Mr. Crockett did a fine job of hosting it. I'll have to find out who he was.

We live in the country, but never had a problem with racoons, so didn't have to resort to a transistor radio. Nowadays, you'd need a portable CD player. My, haven't times changed?

Gami
 
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Old 07-17-01, 04:46 AM
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eggplant flowers?

Another one of those interesting discussions: from eggplant flowers to coons in the corn! Your last comment gave me a laugh, Gami. I quit planting corn because the coons would get it just before we were ready to pick it!!! You might get a laugh out of this one; One year, my husband spent the night in the bed of the pick up next to the corn, rifle nearby. Sure enough, it worked! They didn't touch the corn. If the radio really works, I'll be planting peaches 'n cream next spring, for sure! It's worth a try! Do you know if the radio will keep the possums out of the tomatoes?!
 
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Old 07-17-01, 05:29 AM
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Hi M,

I'm sure if you played Rap music or acid rock it would keep anything away. Sorry if anybody REALLY likes that kind of music.

My husband would resort to sleeping in the truck also to keep ANYTHING from getting the corn. He's threatened to do that to catch the mailbox bashers.

Get a dog! Then he can sleep at night.

Gami
 
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Old 07-17-01, 05:48 AM
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mlminin,
The pick-up story was great, maybe he was listening to music at the time! For the couple years I tried it, the radio did work. I had once heard that the raccoons could smell when the corn was about ripe. But we humans are a tad bit smarter, sometimes. It's usually about 21 days from tossling out/silk showing to harvest. My radio got turned at about day 17 or 18. Didn't have Rap back when I planted alot of corn - must have been Mick Jagger. It could possibly work for other 'fruits'.
These forums are a world of knowledge and experience. We've got a ways to go but maybe we can break the post record of 58 or so in the Painting forum re BM paints.
fred
 
  #20  
Old 07-17-01, 08:44 AM
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Hi guys!
Wow, alot of response here. Thanks for all the input, and a special thanks to Gami for getting the conversation going again The plant has been out of the greenhouse and on the deck now for almost 2 weeks. Lots of bees all over the place, and I know they are working, but so far, no fruit (at least there still wasnt by the time I left for work this morning). I find it interesting to note Gami's idea about the corn. I am primarily a container gardener, and one year, I did have just two corn stalks, but a simple oscillating fan was all I needed to get silks. Every day I hope for some sign of fruit from the plant. Maybe what I am going to do is to try to pollinate it myself. Its weird because the cucumber vine I have in the greenhouse was pollinated by the wind, and its almost 6' long and is flourishing. Oh well... Maybe tonight I'll have something. Thanks again!

Eric
 
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Old 07-17-01, 09:36 AM
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Hi Bomber,

I was trying to find something that explains how to pollinate the flowers yourself, but since you know how, YES, try that. I think it would have helped to have two plants.

It is weird that your cukes are doing great in a Greenhouse.

Gami
 
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Old 07-17-01, 09:40 AM
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Fred,

I read the article on BM paint. How do you suppose the moderator got a pic of the gold statue inserted in his post? I suppose if everyone had that capability it would slow things down more.

Gami
 
  #23  
Old 07-17-01, 09:47 AM
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Hi Gami
Maybe that wouldve made a difference, but hey, life (especially gardening) is a learning experience. Its really not that strange about the cukes since they like it hot and humid. The only thing that was intersting was it put up a fight. Instead of climbing the trellis on its own, I had to tie it on until it clung and then it was ok. Cantaloupe pot is right next to it. Could get some cross pollination and some really weird looking stuff

Eric
 
  #24  
Old 07-17-01, 10:41 AM
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Hi Eric,
Just a little more information: both the cukes and cantaloupes have male and female flowers. Usually the male flowers open first, and there will be quite a few of them. Then shortly after that, the plant puts out the female flower, and sometimes you can actually see the tiny cuke or lope. Then the bees, wind, or other bugs help the pollination. Sometimes the timing is off and the tiny little fruit will just whither away with the blossom.
One other thing, on the corn discussion. You'll always get silk, at about the tassel time. The pollen settles on the silk to produce the kernels on the cob. Poor pollination is when you see ears of corn with sporadic or undeveloped kernels. I used to go through the rows and shake the stalks.
Hey, I just found a pretty good site re pollination:
http://www.agric.wa.gov.au/programs/...e/vegpolln.htm
See Y'all,
fred
 
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Old 07-17-01, 11:24 AM
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Thanks Fred. Going to check out the page now and hopefully get some ideas!

Eric
 
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Old 08-14-01, 07:08 AM
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Hi again guys!
Thanks for all the advice. Now the plant has more fruit on it than I could have imagined! Looks like the neighbors are going to be eating eggplant also!

Eric
 
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Old 08-14-01, 07:24 AM
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Hi Eric,

Hey, way to go!!! Turn your TV to Food Network! They've been making lots of dishes with eggplant. You can do ANYTHING with it--even grill it. I'm tempted to buy one. Now, what's your next challenge?

Gami
 
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Old 08-14-01, 07:31 AM
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Congrats Bomber,
Glad to hear of your success!. Unfotunately, my eggplants succumbed to wilt disease caried by either the flea beetle or stink bugs. So, it's off to the farmer's market. Need to go there anyway, since our 'family' of deer took care of all three plantings of green beans. When I say family, this is a first for me. A doe, two fawns, and believe it or not a six point buck! We see them all together much too often.
Thinking of putting a Pool where the garden is.
Enjoy your eggplant,
fred
 
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Old 08-14-01, 07:52 AM
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Hi Fred,

Don't do that! A fence is cheaper! BUT then a pool may be a lot more fun--not as gratifying tho!

When we first moved here we had deer, but I was working and didn't have time for gardening, so they didn't bother us. With all the building, they've long ago moved to the more wooded areas. Thank goodness!

Gami
 
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Old 08-14-01, 01:52 PM
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Hey Gami!
I think next years challenge will be to actually get either potatoes or lettuce out of my planting. I always seem to wait to long to put the lettuce transplants in or the potatoes never sprout. Don't worry though - I will be around this winter Too much good advice on this forum to hibernate Can't wait to get to my grandparents house tonight to see the zucchini that we all forgot about. Supposedly it is over 2 feet long! If so, I will try to get a picture. Also need to check on the pumpkins. Supposedly we've got a 30+ pounder. Happy harvesting every one!

Eric
 
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Old 08-14-01, 08:04 PM
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Hi Eric,

Well, darn! We can't post pics here. Would love to see that zucchini and pumpkin tho.

I've never bought seed potatoes and had success in them producing. What kind of potatoes are you using? I usually let mine get old, wrinkled and sprouting before I plant them.

Glad to know you'll be here this winter. Gardening forums tend to get a little "unbusy" during that time. There's still lots of gardening to do in the winter. Planning, looking through seed catalogs, contemplating what went right and wrong, building garden ornaments, etc.

My challenge this winter will be to have a successful herb garden inside and baby some cuttings of shrubs.

Happy gardening in the greenhouse and out!

Gami
 
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Old 08-15-01, 08:43 AM
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Update! Zucchini was only 17" long Everything has been overrun with weeds down at my g'parents house. Watered the tomatoes last week when it was 102; burned them Pumpkin plants are dying, but we've got 5 great looking ones. Squirrels jumped the fence and ate all of the corn But we should have a good harvest with the zucchini, summer squash, peppers, and celery. Happy harvesting!

Eric
 
  #33  
Old 08-15-01, 08:48 AM
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Sorry - usually do the same thing with potatoes that you do; who knows? Next year I am going to make a raised bed. My girlfriends neighbor has one and it looks beautiful, and hes got an EXCELLENT crop of everything
 
  #34  
Old 08-15-01, 09:58 AM
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Eric,
Next spring, call around or find actual seed potatoes. They are sectioned and treated to prevent rotting in the soil after planting. And as you probably know, potatoes need to be 'hilled'. I used to have a supply of pine needles, and I sort of mulched the plants as they grew and then added a light covering of soil on top of the needles. As I remember, had to hill about three or four times through the season. I had tried a couple varieties, but the new potatoes were the best. All you have to do wash and cook. fred
 
  #35  
Old 08-15-01, 01:01 PM
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Fred,
I think that is what I will do. I've developed quite an extensive library of reference books this year, and I think I am going to subscribe to a seed catalog for next spring. I'd like to get a healthy crop next year.

Eric
 
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Old 08-30-01, 12:56 PM
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eggplants

If we can get back to the original subject-
I've tried many times to grow the "Black" variety you mentioned (raised bed garden with drip line irrigation. In spite of my pampering production tended to be 50/50, with some completely unsuccessful seasons. I recently switched to the variety Ichiban (Japanese) Eggplant. Under the same growing circumstances the plants have been very successful. The fruit is slimmer than other varieties but I've yet to taste a bitter one. Occasional dusting with Sevin 5% and feeding with Miracle-gro or other liquid fertilizer, and maybe your luck will change.
 
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Old 08-30-01, 01:07 PM
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Hi Frankie,

Sevin is becoming unpopular these days in the garden world. Yes, it kills insects, but it also kills the bees and every other pollinating insect. Without the pollinators, no eggplants whatever variety you plant, unless of course, you hand pollinate everything.

Gami
 
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Old 08-30-01, 01:37 PM
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I agree- Sevin can be used discriminately, however; I carefully hand dust individual plants and try to avoid doing so when they are flowering heavily. Plenty of bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, etc. around here....
 
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