Monday, July 21, 2008

Back from Camping

Well I'm back from a fun three day weekend of camping. This is the first time I've left the plants this summer. I always go out every day to the garden. So Friday I got up early (5:40) so I could water the plants before I left and pick.

On Sunday I was out in the garden that evening picking and making sure everything was doing well. I had a lot of cucumbers, peas and beans. Surprisingly only one zucchini (for a total of 5 summer squash in my fridge - two of which I ate for lunch) was ready. Then it was over to the nightshade crops. I have one chili pepper that is just starting to turn red. Go pepper. I dry the super chilis and use them as cayennes.

Even more exciting was my first little eggplant. It had set. I was shocked. I figured the first flowers from these plants would fall off. They have been through a lot. The hail we had earlier shredded their leaves. Then the flea beetles set in. I pick flea beetles off the leaves every couple of days. I can't get them all since they hop around so much, but I've gotten pretty good at catching them. The trick seems to be not to shade them as you pick them off. Once I have them, I plop them into a little container of soapy water. The only thing that is good about the eggplants getting flea beetle is that the beetles seem to overlook my tomatoes. They like the eggplants so much more.

The variety of eggplant I'm growing is "Slim Jim". I chose it because it was small. I'm hoping the fruit don't get too big. First because the eggplant is only about 3" from the ground. I figure when it gets that long, it will have to be picked. The second reason is that I haven't staked the plants (does one stake eggplant?). The main stem seems sturdy enough, but the plants have just started sending out side shoots. I'm afraid fruit on them may break the branch off.

Right now there are so many flowers on the eggplants. I have four plants. Two in the back are not doing well. The flea beetles leave them alone, so that is not the reason. The two in the front are growing quite well. One of them is over 18" tall. That one is covered in flowers. Though its lower leaves are totally covered in flea beetle holes, it keeps sending out new pristine leaves. I ought to have fruit set on that plant soon too.


  1. Looks like your veggie garden is doing well and it survived without you for a couple of days. Hope you enjoyed your trip!

  2. I'm happy that you have your first eggplant. Mine are getting really big, but no sign of them setting eggplants yet. The flea beetles are a real nuisence. They've eaten holes in all my eggplants but I've yet to actually see one. What exactly is in Chinese spicy green beans? Sounds yummy

  3. That's a lovely photo of the eggplant blooms. I find vegetable flowers really pretty but often end up with blurry shots.
    Pests aside, it must be such a satisfying feeling to have a variety of veggies ready for the picking in your garden!

  4. something has totally munched on my eggplants...I wonder if it could be these same beetles...looks like it from the photo. I am really disappointed since I think they've done too much damage for me to get any eggplants from it now.

  5. PG: We had 22 friends all staying at the same campground, so it was great fun. We always go back to this site every year since it is the only one with a nice group site, that adults can use. Most of the group sites are just for youth groups.

    Sarah: I got my recipe off the web here. I never follow a recipe exactly, but that is where I started from. They are as one would think green beans that have been spiced up with cayenne pepper and soy sauce. It is the only green bean dish that I would ever order when going out to eat.

    Kanak: I agree. I love to pick things out of my garden. I keep trying every year to grow something different, if just to try it out. Sometimes I have to wait though. I collect my beans over a few days before I have enough for a meal.

    Mellisa: so sorry about your eggplants. They can be very annoying. You wouldn't think a little tiny beetle like that can do so much damage, but they do. They are really hard to see, just tiny little black dots. But I have good eyes still. So just take a couple of minutes every few days and pick them off.

  6. Even though you had to leave your plants camping is always worth it! Especially over a 3 day weekend. I'm sure your plants missed you but see they survived just fine =)