Further experiments in extending crops...

28 May, 2014


As the previous experiment in extending summer crops into the depths of winter here in Melbourne has been quite successful (I've been getting quite a few ripening capsicums and peppers, and there are still flowers too), I've been thinking maybe I can extend these successes to another under-performing summer crop.

Eggplants.

I planted about 10 eggplants last year and got nary a one all summer long. Granted I sowed the seed a bit on the late side (maybe October if my memory serves me correctly), but they were small and stunted and grew really slowly all summer, and were completely unproductive. 

Lazy gardener that I am I haven't yet gotten to pulling them out, but over the last month (perhaps due to the recent warm spell we Aussies have experienced) they have been looking more lush and green, and have been putting out flowers.

So I'm encouraging the strongest looking plants with a makeshift greenhouse arrangement.


I've used old sheets of glass to form a tower around three plants. I've put bricks inside the stucture to hopefully hold heat and release it overnight so the plants don't get too cold.

There have been even more flowers since the glass house went up.


And, joy of joys, the flowers are forming little tiny fruits. I couldn't quite get a photo of those so you'll just have to take my word for it.

I'm hopeful that I get a couple of eggplants, but even if I don't I am also aiming to keep the plants alive through the winter to see if I can get a second crop next summer. I don't know if it will work, but it will be fun to try.

6 comments:

  1. Yes! Do it! The only eggplant I got fruit from this year (and heaps of fruit, at that) was one that I'd overwintered from last year.

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    1. That's good news! I think now I might even see if I can dig up a couple of the other plants and pot them up to put somewhere sheltered to see if I can get them through winter as well. Cheers!

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  2. your experimneting has paid off! i am impressed by your ingenuity - using the bricks to hold the heat. that's clever! the things we gardeners will do :-)

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    1. Well, I've been reading up on low energy housing design, and thermal mass is key! My house has no thermal mass, but at least my eggplant greenhouse has! :)

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  3. I have to say I despite my perennial optimism haven't successfully over-wintered egg-plants yet. Just when I think they've made it they give up the ghost just as things are warming up in Sept or Oct. Have to say that hasn't stopped me leaving the healthiest looking plants in the ground AGAIN! will see what happens. Will be interesting to see if your green house method works.

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    1. Hmmm. Thanks for the info. I'm not so hopeful now, but like you will just see how it goes. If I pull them out now, or later, it doesn't make much difference.

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