Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Garden on the Deck: Tracking an Eggplant

I still know so little about gardening. Barely a year ago, I had no idea how many fruits/veggies flower before fruiting. I've now watched tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and squash/lemon cukes....all flower, presumably get fertilized by bees & things, then the flower dries up (sometimes falls off), and where the flower was, the plant starts to fruit. The eggplant plant was a nice surprise this year: it had lots of lavender flowers, though only one produced an eggplant that survived. Did you know that sometimes the flowers close later in the day? Early Wed. morning (7/20), I snapped this eggplant flower (above).
When I came home that afternoon, the sky was dark and it was about to storm. Here's the same flower, around 5:45 pm on Wed., probably gearing up for the storm. This particular flower dried up, dropped off, and disappeared.
Phone pic, 7/26/10.
And for a while I had two fruits making a go for it, but squirrels ate the little one. In the end, one survived....
And it appears that I'm growing a "Casper" variety of eggplant -- white/ivory eggplants that grow to 6-8" long. I didn't even know there were white eggplants. Lemon cukes, white eggplant, green striped tomatoes, orange carrot jalapenos, last year's red basil, and a chocolate flavored mint plant? These varieties are so easy to find in seed packs, and so often missing from stores. Next year...purple carrots (pics).