Sunday, May 29, 2011

Eggplants Like it Hot and Patience is a Virtue

About a month ago, against my better judgement, I planted some small eggplant transplants in the ground. We had a week of unusually low temperatures and they just sat there sulking while the flea beetles proceeded to ravage them. Just what I expected to happen.

2 weeks ago i planted some of the same transplants into some large containers along the drive. They are 5 times the size of the ones i planted in the ground and unaffected by flea beetles. The soil in the containers is much warmer than the ground because the sun shines directly on the pots and is reflected onto the sides of the pots by the concrete drive.

I also planted some into 6" pots to grow out for transplanting. They are 3 times the size of the ones in the ground and are ready to go into the garden. Growing them to a large size and transplanting after the soil warmed up and after the first generation of flea beetles was over was my original plan. The large transplants will be able to withstand the next flea beetle attack and become established quickly in the now warm soil. They will be planted into the garden tomorrow.

Being in a hurry is of no benefit in the garden or in life. Breathe y'all.


Eric said...

Yes! Every year people ask me how to deal with the flea beetles on the eggplant, and my answer is always wait a few weeks before transplanting. Let them get good and strong in their pots, re-pot if they need it, and wait until the first of June to put them in the garden. You won't get fruit any later, and in most cases, the later-planted plants will out-produce those put in the ground earlier in May.

thestevenbell said...

Hi Duane,
I tried Bt, pyganic and safer's 3 in 1 reapplying weekly, and twice used neem oil but was not able to get rid of flea beetles this year. They destroyed an eggplant, and mottled the leaves of the beans, cukes, melons and even the marigolds. Only basil was able to withstand their attack. Can you give any recommendations of how to get rid of them once they are established?
Steven B