watercolor by Marja van Mierlo

Rapid growth from a weekend of rain

In an attempt to save the eggplants…

In late May I bought some long oriental eggplant seedlings from the Madison Flower Shop and in a haste, jammed them into an already crowded bed receiving partial sun. They “lived” there stunted and unhappy for weeks and I kept hoping they would magically revive themselves and fill out but, of course, they never did. Even after I added some rich, organic matter and a sprinkle of organic fertilizer around the roots, they just wouldn’t grow. Finally, as their leaves were beginning to yellow and shrivel up, I decided it was time to do something about it. I’d read somewhere that eggplants can thrive in containers so I thought I’d put it to the test. I drilled extra drainage holes in a large planter, layered the bottom half with beach pebbles, wood chips, and straw, and topped it off with a mix of well-aged horse manure, vegetable compost, potting soil, a touch of perlite, and last-but-not-least, some worm castings! I’ve watered them diligently over these past two days and am already noticing progress. The leaves are way less yellow, they’re significantly taller, and new leaves are sprouting out from the center. Hopefully, this isn’t false hope. I’ll check back in next Thursday with an update!

June 8th Update

Rain followed by a few sunny, warm days has brought rapid growth! Unfortunately, someone’s been nibbling the lettuces and cabbage. I made a nasty smelling spray by steeping onion, garlic, black pepper, cayenne, and ginger in boiling water. Hopefully, it will keep the critters out.