Eggplant Topiary

I bought two Black Beauty eggplant seedlings and then decided to investigate their "care and feeding". It really sounds like they're more trouble than they're worth. I think it's going to be a case of the $1,000 eggplant. Barbara Damrosch writes in The Garden Primer, "eggplant is tough to grow in any climate" and "a certain amount of eggplant-growing is sheer luck". Basically, get them started as early as possible, watch for bugs, worms, wilt and blight. Don't let their roots touch the ground, don't pull weeds around them because they don't like it. Harvest your little, tiny eggplants as quickly as possible before something attacks them. Baby eggplants are very "au courant" so nobody will know you're coming home from work on your lunch hour to catch them at the peak of their perfection. In other words, snatching them from the mouths of bugs and disease that are waiting patiently for you to turn your back. I couldn't resist planting my eggplants in the classy urns they so richly deserve. The Alyssum was also Barbara's idea. I think it adds that little something...

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