Eggplant, you exhaust me.

Damaged Eggplant 2Frankly, there are a lot of things in my vegetable garden that require shockingly little care and attention. Eggplant is not on that list. It is kind of a pain that some days I’m not sure is worth it. Don’t get me wrong, I love eggplant! Parmesan. Rollatinni. Grilled. Even a little Baba ghanoush. Growing it, however, is a different story. It seems the moment the seedlings get tucked into the soil, flea beetles arrive. It is rather amazing to me that mother nature is so well coordinated in this matter. She is a bit of a bitch sometimes. Anyway, it seems that there is no sure fire organic way to get rid of flea beetles. Using row covers until the seedlings become better established is a piece of advice I have come across. Neem oil is another option. I also plan to use a home made solution of 2 parts rubbing alcohol, 5 parts water and 1 Tbsp of Dawn dish soap. This will be a prolonged battle.

You can tell if flea beetles are doing the damage by the very small holes they make in the leaves. The beetles themselves are black and very small. They hop away quickly if you touch the leaves so they can be hard to catch and just pinch. A blast of water gets them off temporarily and gives you a few moments to put a row cover over the plant.

I expect most of my eggplant this summer will be coming from the farmer’s market.  On the bright side, it frees up some garden space for something else!Damaged Eggplant


Categories: Garden

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