Friday, January 25, 2013

Eggplant Evaluation

It's seed starting time in the Carolina Piedmont, which means I need to evaluate what worked last year.  Let's evaluate eggplants!

Last summer I planted three eggplants: Lista da Gandia, White Lightning, and Black Beauty.  I had one plant of each.  Here's how they stack up against each other.

White Lightning and Lista de Gandia

Taste: To be honest, I am not an eggplant expert.  I couldn't detect a difference in taste.  I use eggplant in Indian dishes, baba ghanouj and eggplant parm.  There are so many different spices in these dishes I can't tell one eggplant from the other.  They all come out even on taste (i.e. they taste like eggplant).

Appearance:  The Lista de Gandia (the purple one above) is very pretty.  The White Lightning (also above) and Black Beauty (not pictured but think of eggplants in the grocery store) are average.

Productivity:  Lista de Gandia was a pretty skimpy producer.  Both Black Beauty and White Lightning beat the pants off of it.  I think I may have gotten a total of 5-7 eggplants from the Lista de Gandia while Black Beauty and White Lightning had 5-7 eggplants on them at any given time (see the photo below)

Black Beauty is a great producer
Pests and diseases:  All three seemed to fare the same.  While the flea beetles feasted throughout the season all three outgrew the damage.  I was lucky yet again and none of them got hit by disease (one of the few plants in the garden I can say that about).

Given my experience last year I think I will grow Black Beauty and White Lightning.  No plans for a third but that always seems to change as I look through the Tomato Growers catalog and see all of the cute little eggplants!


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