Autumn has come, and I don’t think eggplants will develop any further out in the garden. Today I harvested all the plants. Harvest is small, but exceeds my expectations in June, as the small eggplants was transplanted. Honestly, after a cold May, I didn’t expect any eggplants this season.
For comparison I also transplanted two known varieties, Apple Green and Ping Tung Long. Of the four plants of these two varieties, only one Apple Green set an eggplant, as seen in the picture on top.
I’ve kept my records:
15 plants after the largest eggplant last year. No fruit 😦 (It was my favourite)
3 plants after the thick and heavy eggplant gave a single plant with a fair size eggplant.
2 plants after the very small, and very early eggplant gave two plants with a fair size eggplant each 🙂
2 plants after a moderate sized eggplant. No fruit – but should I still grow more of it next year?
2 plants after another moderate sized eggplant. No fruit – but should I also grow more of this next year?
Now the eggplant fruits ripens off inside until November or December. If they contain seeds, I can then extract them for drying.
I have some questions to consider during the winter:
Shall I exclusively follow the line of the very tiny and early eggplant from last year? Should I cross an offspring of the largest eggplant from last year into the line?
How can two plants after such a small eggplant both set fruits about the same size as the offspring of a much larger and heavier eggplant? Will I get the same result, if I grow out 10 plants of each?
I had a bonus – mini eggplants. They don’t have a chance to ripen, but are still useful in the kitchen.
Downside is, that most plants had no fruits at all! It can seem a bit pointless to grow eggplants that doesn’t produce any eggplants, but it is necessary if I am to select for hardiness. If I reach to the point where my line is hardy, I’ll be able to both select and eat the not so perfect results. I hope to get there in a few years.
UPDATE 15 October 2010
There was no seeds in any of the three fruits. It still brings my breeding project ahead, as I have learned which seed bags contain the best seeds for a cold summer. Hopefully this will bring me closer to the easy to grow eggplant I hope to find.