Friday, July 1, 2011

Pilot project progress

To recap the pilot project; I am trying grow a miniature eggplant in the greenhouse, because to put it mildly, I have been less than successful in growing eggplant. I can grow gigantic plants, but getting them to set fruit has been a problem, or more like a disaster. Well, my one and only attempt was to try to grow an enormous eggplant bred in the 40s to grow in Florida, that in itself may have contributed to my downfall. The plant was surely enormous, the eggplant were non-existent.

My test specimen was started from seed on May 7, 2011, and the plant is doing fantastic, so much so that it is attractive enough to be a houseplant.

As shown in the photo above the plant is flowering, so the project is humming along nicely, but now comes the hard part. When I researched hand pollinating eggplant; I found that doing so is not really necessary. The pollen is supposed to just drip from the stamens to the pistil. That is, of course, unless the temperature is not too hot, or too cold, or the air is not too humid. If all else fails you can resort to hand pollination by gently rubbing a clean artist brush around inside the flower. All this makes me wonder why eggplant don't cost $400 each.

Just to be on the safe side, my assistant ,Ava ,went at the flower with an artist brush today, and pollinated the hell out of the flower. Well, she has loved hand pollinating flowers since she was two, so why not?

Time will tell...

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