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One of my brown eggplants

Right now I have 3 eggplant plants of the same variety (I think Ichiban, but I may have that confused) growing fruit, two of them are growing golden brown fruits, as pictured above, the other's growing normal colored purple. All the veggies on my garden have been putting out small or no fruit. I definitely overcrowded them (my yard is tiny) but would that make for brown egg plants?

3 plants

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  • Could you send more pictures of the plant leaves? Get rid of the weeds and try a bit of fish fertilizer. Manure would be way too strong. Have you fertilized? It also looks as the entire plant is battling something; insects, a virus or powdery mildew. Please send a few more pictures...
    – stormy
    Sep 18 '14 at 21:00
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Well it might, actually - eggplants require rich, moist soil conditions so they can take up plenty of moisture and nutrients, and that may well have been difficult in crowded circumstances, especially if you didn't add plenty of humus rich materials to the soil beforehand. When the fruits go brown, it's usually because they're well past maturity, and as your fruits are small AND brown, it can be assumed that the lack of proper nutrition/moisture means this happened much earlier. What I'm not clear about is whether these brown fruits started out brown or not, in other words, were they ever purple at any point.

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  • I am also unclear on that. They either started that way or turned it quickly
    – Tadlette
    Sep 18 '14 at 14:49
  • Hmm, well then I think the assumption I made in the answer is the most likely explanation.
    – Bamboo
    Sep 18 '14 at 15:04
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In the picture, the plant with the smaller, brown fruits is far thinner, and taller, and has small yellowish leaves. It gives me the impression of nutrition lack. So Bamboo is probably right. Do you have access to manure? Side-dressing with that will improve the health of the plant. If not, you can apply a balanced fertilizer as a side-dressing, following the directions on the product label. Or if you have a soluble fertilizer, like Miracle Gro, mix according to the label, and water it in once every two weeks.

Once the soil/plant is healthier (depends whether you use manure/bagged fertilizer) the fruit should become normal. If it doesn't, hat means that the other plants actually are different varieties. There are many kinds of eggplant, and people make mistakes.

I would also take the weeds out back past the area, at least as far as the plants are tall, preferably more, and add mulch (not woody mulch, like bark or chips). Something like straw, or grass clippings will do. Apply in a layer light can't get through, to help block the weeds and preserve soil moisture. Keep the plants watered, very necessary for a fruiting plant, and be sure to pick fruits as they ripen.

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  • I've got compost, would that help, or am I needing some n p or k?
    – Tadlette
    Sep 18 '14 at 17:36
  • @Tadlette Compost would be great, definitely use it, but it may not be very high in npk, so you may have to add more from another source.
    – J. Musser
    Sep 18 '14 at 17:37

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