I attended a container gardening class and am trying out what I learned on my...

Asked June 12, 2013, 4:11 PM EDT

I attended a container gardening class and am trying out what I learned on my balcony. It faces south west. I bought earthbox kits and followed directions to the letter. Tomatoes are growing very well. EggplantS however seem problematic. They are growing like "little shoppe of horrors" but the blossoms fall off before fruit forms. There are MANY blossoms and the plants look incredibly robust. Today, it occurred to me to discourage further growth at the bottom and pinched off a half dozen shoots in the crux of the branches. Was this the right thing to do? What is the problem or is this normal? I am filling the reservoir daily. Of course, due to weather conditions, they haven't gotten a ton of sun yet this year.

Montgomery County Maryland

2 Responses

The eggplant may be flowering early and profusely and then dropping flowers because it is stressed (close spacing, low light conditions). Pruning out branches is fine. Eggplant production is increased by bumblebee visits. If the plants don't receive 6-8 hrs. of direct sun and there are no bees because you are up high you may not get much fruit even thogh the plants look healthy. JT

Thanks for your time! For now, I'm going to assume that it is lack of sun. Surprisingly, we get regular visits from bees and humming birds on the balcony. Height doesn't seem to be a problem. And I may have failed to mention that we also have tomatoes that are flowering AND bearing fruit. It's just that this season, there have not been many (any) days with full sun for 6 to 8 hours. This is my first time trying eggplants. I must say however that the earthboxes make growing tomatoes in containers MUCH easier. I also converted an existing large container to an "earth box" and have a single patio tomato in it. It is doing very well as are the two early girls I have in a real earthbox.