Eggplant (Solanum melongena), with its earthy taste and sometimes rubbery texture, is an acquired taste that benefits from being backyard fresh. Unfortunately, the plant, at the exact same family as tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum) and potatoes (Solanum tuberosum), can also be prone to all the insects and temperature sensitivities of these plants and much more. Due to these issues, blossoms sometime will not develop or may drop before they form their own purple teardrop or even globe-shaped fruits to your favourite recipes.
Lush plants provide you high hopes for a big harvest, but leaves may be all you get out of the eggplant if the soil contains too much nitrogen and also not enough phosphorus. A soil test before planting is almost always a smart idea, however if you’re already midway through the year, hold off additional high-nitrogen fertilizer. An use of ammonium phosphate worked into the soil around the eggplants in a rate of two pounds per 100 square feet can make more phosphorus available to the crops for blossom generation. Once the plant does place buds, spritzing its leaves using a solution of 1 teaspoon of Epsom salts per gallon of water can give the plant extra calcium and magnesium to help it hold onto blossoms and fruit.
Eggplants like it sunny and hot, but not overly sexy. When weather conditions and sunlight aren’t just appropriate, blossom buds can drop off the plant or not form in any way. Eggplants that don’t receive at least half an hour of sunlight every day can suffer reduced blossoming and fruit set or create fruit. Waiting to plant your own eggplant seedlings outdoors until night temperatures are consistently higher than 60 degrees Fahrenheit helps the plant produce blossoms and keep on the ones that do develop. Eggplant blossom and fruit production also slow when temperatures remain above 75 F immediately. Where summers get hot by the end of the year or are trendy early in the spring, shortening the growing season, plant a variety that’s know to become ancient posture, such as”Early Bird.”
Blossoms drop without growing into fruit if they are not pollinated. Eggplants grown indoors, planted too close together or under row cover fabric to protect the plant out of its common foe, the flea beetle, may not be pollinated because wind or insects can not get to them. Boost pollination and fruit set by shaking a indoor plant or draining pollen in the stigmas of one blossom to another using a soft-bristled paintbrush. Plants should be spaced 20 to 24 inches on center for optimal growth and fruit production. Take proactive steps with eggplants indoors or outside, since the plants are notorious for pollination issues.
Buds with little round holes in them that yellow, then drop till they open are a signal your eggplants are infested with pepper weevils (Anthonomus eugenii Cano). The insect attacks all Solanaceae family plants, feeding on flower buds and fruit as both brown-headed white to grey grubs from the larval stages and as one-eighth-inch black mature beetles. The bugs are particularly likely to migrate to eggplants, in case peppers (Capiscum annum), their preferred hostsare nearby. Hand select beetles and grubs in which potential and destroy the plant following harvest. Cultivating the soil and rotating your crops, without a Solanaceae family plants at the exact same patch of soil for a year or two can break the pepper weevils’ life cycle.