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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Eggplant Beautiful Bush No Fruit

Q. I have grown plants in whiskey barrels every year with a good harvest. This year my eggplants have grown bigger than ever, beautiful, look healthy and have lots of purple flowers but almost no fruit. Since planting it's just been one giant flower bush. Why is it not producing fruit?

A. I am guessing it is a combination of probably three things; variety, weather conditions and general care. Stick to varieties of eggplant that have done well for you in the past. Don’t just buy any eggplant off the shelf and expect the same results. Varieties are important.
Purple Thai eggplant, a good variety for the Mojave desert if you like Asian style eggplant
Secondly is the weather. At very high temperatures many vegetables will fail to set fruit. This is because the pollen may become sterile at high temperatures and the fruit will start to develop and fall off. Some varieties are better at setting fruit at high temperatures than others.
Thirdly is soil enrichment and fertilizing. If your soil has been amended with a good quality compost prior to planting then I would not fertilize with any nitrogen fertilizer until I saw fruit developed that was a couple of inches long.
Eggplant forming fruit in July
If the soil is enriched heavily with good compost and then we fertilize the plants with high nitrogen fertilizers we can end up with wonderful vegetable bushes with little to no fruit.
I would suggest you mulch the plants as well. This will help keep soil moisture more constant. If soil moisture goes up and down during the day, the plant may drop flowers or fruit as well.

Less likely is a lack of bee activity. I am guessing your bee activity has been about the same as previous years so that it is not likely to be the problem.

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