chubwolf
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Ichiban Eggplant question

Hello,
I bought two eggplant plants at the store a few months ago and the seem to have taken in my raised beds. They are putting out quite a lot of fruit, but I read they should be three or four feet high and they are maybe a foot tall, certainly not 18 inches. some of the fruit are getting close to six inces and will be hitting the ground soon. has anyone else had this happen?

Thanks,


oh, I'm in southern california and these plants must get at least 10 hours of full sun a day.

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jemsister
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Re: Ichiban Eggplant question

I've never had eggplant. What's it like? Sounds like you've got a good thing going on if you're getting so much fruit while the plant is still growing. Nice!

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hendi_alex
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Re: Ichiban Eggplant question

I used to have problems with stunted plant size. Several years ago I started planting two of the egg plants in two 33 gallon barrels filled with compost and high quality potting soil. For the past several years I've also planted three egg plants in a couple of 4 foot by 4 foot raised beds filled with very rich, moisture retentive potting soil and compost. Since making that adjustment, my plants always get at least three to four feet tall and produce an abundance all summer until the first killing frost in the fall. The raised beds are morning sun only, and those plants do much better than the barrel plants which are full sun. We had an unusually cool, long spring and the plants are a bit behind last year's for this time. Still, the five plants are giving us a dozen or so egg plants per week now.

This is one of the barrel plants.
Image

This is one of the raised bed plants.
Image
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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hendi_alex
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Re: Ichiban Eggplant question

We love egg plant! Egg plant Parmesan is great. Egg plant topping a California style home made pizza is great. We love to cut the egg plants into quarter inch long strips and sear them on the grill, usually with onions. Sometimes we cut the egg plant into long wedges and grill them in a basket of mixed vegetables, coated with Mr. Spice mix and olive oil. Usually once or twice per summer, the wife makes a batch of home made baba ghanouj. It makes a great dip for home made whole wheat pita triangles, baked with a little olive oil and our favorite spices. Each year, one of our staples is green tomato casserole with corn meal stuffing mix. Egg plant is often an ingredient in that mix. When feeling extra decadent, we may bread and fry some egg plant strips, to make an egg plant sandwich. You get the idea. Egg plant is a wonderful fruit that is very versatile in the kitchen. Start with egg plant, olive oil, maybe some cheese, and you just can't go wrong.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

chubwolf
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Re: Ichiban Eggplant question

Wow, thank you Alex for those recipe ideas. Also what kind of egg plant are those? And do they taste significantly different to the purple ones? I would like to try growing the white ones next year.
Also, are those strawberry plants? In with the eggplant?

gumbo2176
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Re: Ichiban Eggplant question

I've grown many different varieties of eggplant over the years and Ichiban are some of my favorite for productivity. I like to pick them in the 7-8 inch range and generally grill them. I'll use the larger purple or white globe eggplants for making casseroles, breading and frying with other veggies or making eggplant parmesan with a nice rich red gravy.

The white ones are pretty prolific too but as it heats up the skins tend to turn yellow pretty fast and once they do that, the seeds inside get a bit tough.

This year I only have the large purple ones that you see in the markets and they are just starting to produce fruit. These plants are going to need staking soon because the size of the fruit will pull the plants over.

liagarden
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Re: Ichiban Eggplant question

jemsister wrote:I've never had eggplant. What's it like? Sounds like you've got a good thing going on if you're getting so much fruit while the plant is still growing. Nice!
Eggplant is an acquired taste, I think. If not cooked well, it is hard & chewy & bitter. I grew up in New York eating great eggplant parmegane at restaurants. I love it! That dish takes a lot of work. And i hate ratattouile. The small Japanese eggplant are delicious, and easy to cook with a little olive oil on the grill or in a pan. It is a member of the nightshade family (some people can't eat it.)

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hendi_alex
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Re: Ichiban Eggplant question

I planted Ichibans for several years and like them just fine. A few years ago I tried these green fruited egg plant. Don't remember the name but was either Japanese or Thai variety from Kitazawa seeds. I just dump all of my egg plant varieties together, and as luck would have it, all of this year's plants turned out to be the long green variety. I have not noticed any difference in flavor between one variety or the other, but these green ones seem to be much more productive than other types that we have tried. Whether purple or green I do prefer the long, thin Asian types as they seem to be more productive and suit out cooking style a little better as well.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

imafan26
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Re: Ichiban Eggplant question

The green ones from Kitazawa are probably either Thai or Japanese. The thin skinned green are most likely Rolecks (Thai) or Choryoko (Japanese) type. I like the green eggplants because they are more productive than the purple eggplant and they stay softer on the plant longer.

I grill the eggplant, it makes it easier to peel them, then they are seasoned with salt, pepper, soy or they can be dipped in fenadeni sauce.

They can be stewed with pork and onions in a soy, ramen soup based sauce.

Filipino style would be to make diningding, pinkatbet, or sari sari. These dishes are either made with chicken, pork or shrimp with onions, beans, bitter melon and tomatoes. You can find recipes on the internet.

The simplest way to cook eggplant, is to prick the skin with a fork and microwave it. Slice it down the middle and eat it with some soy sauce.

baby eggplant can also be pickled.

Filipinos will also make the eggplant into an omelette called Tortang Talong. (Talong = eggplant)

https://www.filipino-food-lovers.com/tortang-talong

Here are more recipes. I haven't tried all of these.

https://www.chow.com/galleries/326/16-re ... a-ghanoush

When eggplants are young the fruit can easily touch the ground, but as the plant gets older, and taller it becomes less of a problem. Sometimes the branches have to be supported because the fruit gets pretty heavy. Eggplant can live a few years in a frost free climate. Usually, I replace them after 2 or 3 years because they become less productive. I have a friend who has kept his eggplant, now nearly 5 ft tall for 8 years.

Ichiban is a popular long purple variety. I grow Waimanalo long and pintung long, as they are the more popular varieties here. Pintung long is a skinny purple variety that is usually picked short, at about 3-4 inches. People like to limit the cut surface on eggplants as exposure to air makes the surface brown and bitter.

We usually do not salt eggplant to remove the bitterness. We just cut the eggplant right before they are added to the pot or I will soak them in water to keep them from turning brown. They do absorb water like a sponge, but if I am going to put them in a stir fry or stew that does not matter. Long eggplants are preferred since they can be cut into fewer pieces and expose the smallest surface area.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

veggiedan
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Re: Ichiban Eggplant question

My experience with Ichibans is that if you have a one-foot tall plant that fruits, then three weeks later you'll have a big, harvestable fruit and a one-foot tall plant. You remove that fruit, and the plant will shoot up. That might mean that early flowers should be removed. When fruiting is going great guns, the plant won't be growing. Of all my veggies, the Ichiban eggplants are the best example of that behavior.

chubwolf
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Re: Ichiban Eggplant question

Wow, a wealth of info, and even better recipie ideas.

VeggieDan, So, let me see if I understand this, should I take the fruits off now to encourage the plant to grow taller? also, as long as I don't get a frost, the plant should survive and produce next year too?

Thank you.
sam

veggiedan
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Re: Ichiban Eggplant question

[quote="chubwolf"] So, let me see if I understand this, should I take the fruits off now to encourage the plant to grow taller? also, as long as I don't get a frost, the plant should survive and produce next year too?[/quote]

Well, it's pretty much up to you. The strategy of removing the first flowers on plants to encourage greenery is a long-discussed one. If it's about harvestable volume, then you have to assume that doing so is going to produce a lot more fruit, and you have time to harvest them. I don't do that with eggplants, but I do that with tomatoes. But each spring I think about it, and have to go through a should-I-or-shouldn't-I. I'm convinced it works well with indeterminate tomatoes.

Now, that's true, that eggplants are perennials. So if you can keep them alive over the winter, they should, I gather, produce the next year. I've never done that with eggplant, but I do that routinely with peppers. I have several year old pepper plants that have woody trunks almost a half inch in diameter. They're producing pepper for me abundantly in March and April when my neighbors in San Antonio just have a few leaves on their new plants.

chubwolf
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Re: Ichiban Eggplant question

I picked the biggest fruits today and fried them with some garlic and they were very delicious. Looking forward to the next few (and the plant getting a bit taller)

imafan26
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Re: Ichiban Eggplant question

I don't take off any fruit. Although, I usually harvest the low hanging ones before they lie on the ground or the slugs will take a hunk out of them. Eggplant can be like zucchini, as long as the weather is warm they will keep producing eggplant almost continually. During the cooler months and shorter days, the eggplant will stop producing. I get 6-8 eggplants every 10 days or so, I only have three eggplants. Normally, I only have two, but this time I have UH long green which is my oldest plant and two new ones Rolecks (thin skinned Thai long green) and Tiger a small round green striped eggplant. Once the Rolecks get going I plan to pull the UH long green, since it has tougher skin. I also got these seeds from Kitazawa.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

chubwolf
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Re: Ichiban Eggplant question

I thought I'd add a picture, just in case anyone was interested.
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eggplant june 20 13.jpg

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