when to call it quits?

Asked September 13, 2017, 8:46 AM EDT

Hi. I haven't been successful in finding this information: How long does it take for fruit to mature once it forms on a plant? I know the answer depends on the plant. I ask specifically about squash, melon, and eggplant. I had a problem with the squash vine borer and deer, so many of my plants had to be replanted in July. Here we are in September, and these plants have many flowers but no fruit. Should I pull these up and put in my fall seedlings instead? My assumption is that, even if fruit forms, there won't be enough time for it to mature. But on the few plants with tiny eggplant and kabocha squash, is there enough time between now and frost for those to mature? Is there any reference for fruit maturation times, as opposed to plant-to-harvest times? Thanks.

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1 Response

We agree that you should pull up the plants that haven't started fruiting and plant your fall seedlings (greens, not anything like broccoli that needs to form a head.)

Your tiny eggplant may mature if the variety is a small eggplant. Otherwise, the chances of the eggplant or squash maturing is small. The weather now is getting less and less good for these plants. You can try nursing them along with a cloche or holding heat in at night with row cover, but all the extra effort may be for naught.

Did you see our planting calendars in our Grow It Eat It section? They may be helpful. We do not know of a fruit maturation chart such as you describe. Much depends on weather and time of year (days getting shorter, etc.)