Oh, my eggplant. *sigh*
My eggplant was a last-minute unexpected addition to the garden. It seemed like a long-shot, but I couldn't resist it's fuzzy little purpley leaves in the nursery. I brought him home, potted him up, worked in some fertilizer and some love, and was pretty pleased with myself.
Little did I know that my new baby was a carrier - aphids, to be exact. This is where my inexperience comes into play. I should have examined the plant more closely in the greenhouse before I made such a rash decision. To my horror the tiny plant was crawling with the plump green bugs.
OK, no big deal, I'll kill them all, give him a good spray of water, and quarantine him in the corner of the balcony for a while. We'll work through this, little guy, alright? Things were looking up.
Over the next few days I started to notice a few straggling aphids on other plants, such as my basil, jalapeno, and tomato. This is NOT acceptable. My garden was a paragone of bug-less-ness a month ago, and now I'm facing an all-out invasion, all because I was a sucker for a cute plant.
I've done searches for organic aphid repellents, and it seems that they hate garlic. I'm brewing a slurry of chopped garlic and cayenne pepper as we speak. We'll see how this works. For now it looks like I'm going to be on "aphid patrol" for the near future.
On a good note, the eggplant looks happy as a clam. His foliage is a beautiful greeny-purple color and those leaves are as soft and downy as a lamb. I've even noticed some little black spikes poking out of some of the foliage...odd?
I don't have much experience cooking with eggplant (I know, I'm a bad vegetarian). I think it's one of those intimidating vegetables, similar to a squash or an artichoke. Last year I forayed into the world of Eggplant Hoagies, with spectacular results:
I'm determined to make things work with this eggplant, aphids or not.