Hi all, dropping in again after a short absence. Been trying to catch up a bit on posts -- good to see everybody.
I have a question about eggplant. This is my first attempt and my seedlings have a zillion tiny holes in them. They may be toast, but I'm hoping to find out what little critter has been aiming for them, and what to do about it, either now or in future. Any ideas?
Thanks -- just did a search on it and I think you're right. I'm having the same problem with cabbage seedlings and apparently the flea beetles (cabbage flea beetles) go after those as well.
I found an article on ways to thwart the critters -- I will try alternating a few of the suggestions -- spinosad, garlic spray and hot pepper. I am glad to know that spinosad is effective against the flea beetle, even though it is not (yet) listed on the label -- because I already have some!
I have found that my eggplants do better if I can start them on an elevated balcony or deck where flea beetles don't travel. You can raise the plant entirely like that, or just get it to the point where it's no longer as vulnerable to the beetles and then transfer to your garden. Rotenone works to deter them but I'd rather not use it if I can avoid it.
Texas flee beetles are monsters ... they can fly everywhere.
LiseP I always have problems with flee beetles in my eggplants (planted outside only).
Last year I had good success (not great) applying NEEM OIL on the leaves.
I was reading about KAOLIN CLAY and I came across these two articles.
This product seems also to work on flee beetles:
Now I don't like to spray anything on my plants ... so I might just wait to see what does happen. I am planting my eggplants this year in a new area of the veggie garden, away from the previous year planting area.
Wow, Gymgirl, those are beautiful. Some of my Listada de Gandias are up, but they took FOREVER. They're in a warm room under a light. They will be moved to the indoor greenhouse and then transplanted into bigger vessels. I'm growing most all of them in mix of vermiculite/perlite and watering once or twice a day. It stays 82 degrees in that room, but they need some CO2 so the move will be good for them (I hope). They're still teensy tiny, though. I'm babying them. I love breaded deep-fried eggplant with Ranch dip. Almost as good as steak. Almost. I'm trying to plant all my older seeds from 2011/2012 before I dig into my new ones. I bought some Casper and can't wait to start those.
As I recall, my eggplant seedlings were up in about 5-10 days. I was surprised they came up so fast. I need to pot them up, but I hesitate, since our weather looks like it will stabilize itself after today, so I may just set the community flat out to start hardening them off.
I water the community flat late at night. I've found that most of my seedlings started indoors under lights do just fine with being watered just before lights out at bedtime. I enjoy measuring their overnight growth first thing in the morning, which is when I usually have to adjust the lights upward about 1/2" to 1"!
P.S. I'm about to start feeding them lightly. Been holding off because if I had fed them before now, they'd have grown too fast, and I couldn't have put them out in the cold temps. So, now that it's starting to stabilize outside, they'll start getting some baby food!
Thanks for the great conversation on the eggplants. I appreciate hearing about everyone's experiences.
greenhouse gal, my little pots have been out on my deck, but it's not an elevated deck and maybe it's also too close to other garden plants.
drthor, thanks for the info on the neem oil and kaolin clay. If I try anything, I might try spinosad first, since I already have that, but...
Linda, I was thinking about that tulle too -- I had already decided that this was the year I was going to get aggressive about svb on the zucchini, so that just adds to my eagerness to pick some up. Time to get my Hobby Lobby and Joanne fabric coupons out! Your photos are beautiful, by the way.
Lisa, glad to know there is tremendous variation in how fast the seedlings come up. I have a couple varieties planted -- black beauty and an asian one (long, lavender) that I can't recall the name of at this moment.
Solace -- breaded eggplant with ranch dressing - yum!
You can also make eggplant parmigiana: dip in seasoned flour (garlic powder,salt,pepper), then in beaten egg, then dip in a mixture of the seasoned flour, fine cracker crumbs, and grated parmigian cheese. (You can salt the eggplant and let it sit in a colander for an hour to make it absorb less oil when frying) Then deep fry in walnut or grapeseed oil, drain, and top with a nice spaghetti sauce and more parmigian cheese (put in the broiler briefly to meld the cheese with the sauce.) You can drizzle a little cold pressed olive oil onto it after broiling to take this dish over-the-top!
Hey Ratfood, good to see you on here! I'm always happy I'm not the only person crazy enough to grow veggies in San Antonio heat. I haven't checked around the site for new threads, but I hope you post with what you have going in your garden this year -- if not on this thread, then another.
Linda, thanks for the welcome back. I go in and out, so forgive my tardiness on this thread or that. But I'm definitely here.
Kittriana, yes, you're close on that name, but I think it's fuan yang or something similar. I'll check my seed pack and get back to you.
Kittriana - Checked my seed pack -- that variety of long lavender Asian eggplant I have is Fengyuan Purple. Was that the one you were trying to think of?
Linda - I bought some tulle. Do you have any tips on just how to wrap/cover an individual plant? Just trying to figure out the technique. I have 4 zucchini plants that I definitely want to protect from SVB, and now the eggplants from flea beetle. Anything else a good candidate for needing the fabric? Do you just lightly lay it over the top? Anchor it somehow? Thanks for any tips.
I'm in the process of figuring that out, myself!
My bell peppers have been out a week now. I sat the trays in the wheelbarrow under the patio cover (out of necessity), and decided they were in a good place, so I cut off a length of tulle (my piece is 60" wide) and just draped it over the plants. I sorta wedged the sides in, so nothing could fly or crawl underneath. And, I left enough slack to the plants could reach upwards, freely.
So far, so good, cause I found what looks like a cutworm moth laying on TOP of the tulle. Guess it was trying to figure out how to bet to the stems, LOL, but I sent it into another existence before it did...
I'm seeding two beds this weekend, and will cover the seeds with the tulle. I'll use landscape pins (make your own from bent wire hangers & save $) to anchor them to the soil, and leave enough slack. I like that it's light enough to float, just like the row cover.
I'll leave anything I cover/wrap under only long enough for the plant to get to a size big enough to take some hits from the predators that will eventually come. I know I can't keep them all off, but at least the plants will have a fighting chance, especially the zucchinis. That's truly what I bought it for -- to keep the Squash Moth and Squash Vine Borer off the zukes!
No. but abt the same. Hooray! I made it to San Antone at noon- BAD timing. Houston was just as awful at 9am, too. On that EPlant, i have to look it up again, had mech failures I was fighting and it looks like a twister hit my trucks interior.
Pin Tong Long is what piqued my curiousity. Lynda I slid thru Baton Rouge last nite, but spent the nite at Egan, La. Am bringing weekend chicken to HEB San Antone. So I hit Houston running west during a TON of traffic. Now, i head back home to spend a few days and throw seeds into the dirt.
You're right, Kittriana, those two eggplants look very similar.
Linda, thanks for the guidance. This is my first attempt at floating row cover. You sent me some great info on it last year, but I never did get around to ordering it. So we'll see how it goes with the tulle. Heading out to play now.