This year we planted a Japanese variety of egg plant. We got a wonderful yield from the end of May to the middle of July and then it started to get very very hot. We realized that the eggplant really needed protection from the afternoon sun and that the six hours of sun they were getting from a mostly southwesterly exposure was just far too much. At this point we decided to experiment in two ways:
- We dug up three eggplant from their too-sunny location. We transplanted two of those three plants in the ground with 50% shade but all day light and they began to flower and fruit the end of September. The third eggplant was transplanted into a strawbale held by a blue wrap with maybe 70% light exposure for 4-5 hours during the day. This plant flowered in the end of July and it’s fruit begin to grow to maturity.
- The last two eggplant remained in the original very sunny location but we carefully watered them every day. They stopped fruiting for July, August, and most of September. Finally, the very end of September they began to flower again. The below photo is taken October 15, 2017. There are four baby eggplant growing!!
Our conclusion and plan for 2018 is to plant the eggplant in a partial shade strawbale in the spring with a soaker hose. Hopefully we’ll be able to harvest eggplant all summer long!