Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Eggplant Growing on an open Balcony

Eggplant may be a tricky one to grow, but it was an impulse buy for the balcony garden, in place of a zucchini that could not be located. I first posted about it here, and I was a bit worried it would never grow well. It is in a tricky spot behind the glass getting loads of way-too-hot afternoon sun (I know it likes sun but afternoon sun in Australia is a killer.) But it seems to be happy, even with the sunflower seeds I planted around it and, then, the other day I spotted this.

One lovely, slightly spikey eggplant flower! As we don't get many bees around here I jiggled a brush inside it a little to stimulate pollination. Not sure if it is like tomatoes and one flower pollinates itself or if I need to move it between flowers but at least I am fairly sure it isn't a boy flower/girl flower scenario which is causing havoc amongst my cucurbits. Fingers crossed I may just have an eggplant or two this year which would make up for the stupid wilting tomatoes (yes I don't care if they hear me, tomatoes that are weak and wilty have no place on my balcony) and the lesbian cucumbers, not that I have anything against lesbians at all, but in the plant world unfortunately the girl cucumber flowers really need to plaly with the boy cucumber flowers on the variety I am growing. Fingers crossed a boy flower appears from somewhere before the powdery mildew pounces!


Kate said...

LOL - I am literally sitting here giggling over this post. What clever writing! Hopefully those lesbo cucumbers will make a fine salad. :D

Have a wonderful holiday, Prue!

azKim said...

Hang in there with the cukes and eggplants. You did exactly right with the pollinating. Also try just tapping the branches with flowers in the morning gently but enough to shake a little pollen loose. I use a thin garden stake and just tap tap here and there. Tomatoes and eggplants work the same way. Your lucky to have so many female cucumber flowers. This summer I had all males!

Dan said...

You will get some eggplant before long. I had a couple this past summer and our weather was horrible for them. They do seem to take a while to set though. Funny enough I really dislike eggplant yet always grow them. I must reframe next season.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prue~~ Not just a pretty flower but a flower of promise! Keep us posted. Merry Christmas

Michelle said...

I think eggplant flowers are self-pollinating and I read somewhere that bees actually don't like eggplant flowers because the pollen is bitter. The certainly are pretty flowers though. Sounds like you need more luck with the cukes than the eggplant, so here's wishing some boy flowers make it to the party!

prue said...

Kate - yay for giggles! Enjoy your christmas holiday too!

azKim - good to see I am on the right track ans I must try the tapping method. I wish I had some male cucumber flowers to go with all the female cucumber flowers, otherwise it gets a little superfluous. Maybe we should have introduced your cucumber to mine! :)

Dan - I certainly hope so, I love eggplant. Stuffed, roasted, as dip, it is all good. Perhaps you should grow a crop you do like? Then again I keep contemplating growing capsicum but I HATE eating it! Us gardeners, we are a wierd bunch.

Grace - I was thinking that. I reckon they look like a pared down version of a passionfruit flower, very pretty. Will definitely keep you posted on the progress and have a merry Christmas yourself.

Michelle - I read that too about bees and not liking eggplant pollen. It is a bit of a non point here though as we barely get any bees anyway. Have an awesome Christmas!

Jamie said...

Your impulse buy of the eggplant inspired me, and now I've got a Thai eggplant plant growing here, purely as a result of an impulse buy at the garden centre, too. My plant is healthy enough so far, but it's too baby-sized to have flowers like yours yet. Hope you end up with a good harvest, Prue!