Eggplant coming back from last year’s roots!

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Eggplant coming back from last year’s roots!

#1

Post: # 46234Unread post habitat-gardener
Wed May 05, 2021 4:28 pm

Last year, I grew 33 eggplants (15 varieties). I put almost all of them in gopher cages, because gophers are a continuing problem at the community gardens. I was hoping some of them might overwinter, because I saw green on some plants into December, but in January or February I finally decided to give up. We’d had cold nights, and they all looked done. I spent some time disentangling the root masses from the gopher cages.

But there was one plant that got put in later than the rest, and it didn’t get a gopher cage. So I cut it down to the level of the mulch (2”) and left it to decay in place, just like the tomato roots. Around a month or so ago, I noticed some green emerging from that spot!! By now it’s about 6-8” high with several healthy leaves. And it’s still not time to plant this year’s plants (soil temperature should be at least 75F iirc)! It’s much sturdier looking than any of my new seed- grown plants. I’m looking forward to seeing how it does compared to the others in health and production. And I will probably leave a few eggplants uncaged and in place for next year, since I have multiples of almost everything.

The resprouter is Diamond.

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Re: Eggplant coming back from last year’s roots!

#2

Post: # 46282Unread post stone
Thu May 06, 2021 7:46 am

I've had peppers come back from last years root in spite of freezing temps, but they were usually sheltered under tree limbs.
Congrats!
I usually have to dig my plants and over-winter indoors...
So... gopher cages... to protect the roots? like those wire cages some of us plant bulbs in?

Hmm... I googled it:
https://tastylandscape.com/2013/06/09/h ... pher-cage/

Sure looks like some work...
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Re: Eggplant coming back from last year’s roots!

#3

Post: # 46348Unread post habitat-gardener
Fri May 07, 2021 2:27 am

A couple years ago, I made about a hundred DIY gopher cages from old pieces of hardware cloth I had. I did buy some wire to complete them, though. Something like this: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.instru ... _page=true

When the plants were in full production, I found a gopher tunnel in the middle of the eggplant bed. Since the plant crowns were all protected, the plants were not affected.

I even planted my Walla Walla onions in cages this winter! A few years ago, gophers got pretty much all of them (and some of my other onions as well). This time I planted about 80 onions of 4 varieties from bare roots, and lost only about 15. It took a lot longer to plant those 10 plants with cages than it took to plant all the rest, though.

I plant my tomatoes with cages only if I find a gopher tunnel nearby when I’m digging the planting holes.
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Re: Eggplant coming back from last year’s roots!

#4

Post: # 46353Unread post stone
Fri May 07, 2021 7:03 am

Those look a lot easier to put together... but less attractive...
I deal with voles... Which as bad as they are... seem less destructive.
With a cat herd, I'm not having to do the caged vegetable routine... Totally warms my heart to see dead voles, left after the cats have finished playing with them... Unfortunately, I also see snakes, lizards and feathers left after the cats have done their worst.
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Re: Eggplant coming back from last year’s roots!

#5

Post: # 50021Unread post habitat-gardener
Wed Jul 07, 2021 10:48 am

In the past week, I've seen a couple more new eggplants coming up. I assume they are growing from roots I removed in the winter! They are only a couple inches high, but the roots that were left in the soil were deeper than the gopher cages! Of course I already have other plants growing in those beds, but I will let them be for a while to see what they do.

It was a chore to remove the gopher cages in the winter, because the roots were so thick and tangled into the wire mesh. Certainly the crowns of the plants were removed. I'd assumed that most plants can't come back from the roots if the crown of the plant is removed. Exceptions I've seen are such vigorous plants as comfrey and roses -- and now I will add eggplants to that list.

By the way, I've picked 3 small eggplants from the resprouted Diamond plant so far. About 4-5 more will be ready to pick within a week or so. None of my new eggplants have produced anything so far, and only a few of them have flowers.
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Re: Eggplant coming back from last year’s roots!

#6

Post: # 50750Unread post habitat-gardener
Sun Jul 18, 2021 6:15 pm

Several more eggplants from last year are coming up!

I didn't realize some eggplants could have pure-white flowers (Louisiana Long Green). All the others, so far, have deep to pale purple flowers.
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