Red Ruffled eggplants or Pumpkin on a Stick

Monek Marie
Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited January 2021 in Vegetables

Have you ever had that one package of seeds that moves mysteriously throughout the house and appears in the weirdest places?

For me, its been pumpkin on a stick, also know as Red Ruffled Ornamental Eggplant. I have had this packet for 3 years. I find in different rooms all over the house: on the floor, almost in the sink filled with water, basically anyplace it should not be. The package is stained and shows severe abuse. In late winter or early spring it always goes MIA. Not this time!

Right now, it is sitting by me and is going into the extreme seed starting mode later today. Since I do not know the extent of its abuse I will start half of the seeds in a flat layer of toilet paper, dampen the paper with willow water and place in a plastic bag. Being a member of the eggplant/tomato plant is will benefit from heat so I will place on the top of the fridge. I'll check it in 5 days to see if I see any signs of life. It may need a misting of willow water at that time too. I'll continue to check it until some sprout or they look like they are rotting.

I'm planting half because this is a rather touchy seed, even under normal circumstances. It's very slow to germinate and has to be started early in my climate to get nice "pumpkin" fruits. Normally I consider this about 3 weeks early but I think this will be a very cranky seed so I am stepping up the game plan.

Comments

  • Cornelius
    Cornelius Posts: 872 ✭✭✭✭

    This seems very cool! At a minimum you have something to look festive in autumn.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Cornelius I like to have dried items to use for crafts or put in arrangements.

    It also gets children interested in what can be grown and children having an interest in gardening is important and fascinating to watch.

  • Cornelius
    Cornelius Posts: 872 ✭✭✭✭

    @Denise Grant I agree! How long do they last on the stick before you have to pick them?

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2021

    @Cornelius Once they are bight orange you can pick them but most people let them dry right on the stem or stick. If they dry on the stick they will stay there for quite some time.

    I have seen it where people cut the stem with the leaves left on or all the leaves removed and just the stem, which dries to look like a branch. think they look better without any leaves. You leave a 2 foot stem on them if you can

    They look great alone or in an arrangement

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2021

    @monica197 The fruit gets about 2 or 3 inches in size. Left alone it will dry and be usable for quite some time as decoration. Being part of the eggplant family they can be eaten, either raw or cooked according to plant information. I do not anyone who has tried them so can not tell you if they have a good taste or not.

    I know Baker Creek sells them and Botanical Interests. Pine Tree might. The seeds I am trying are from Reimer. I'll do a test on them. If they are any good (they have been abused!) I will send you some. I think I have some from Botanical Interests that were given to me. I have to go through my seeds.

    These take up to three weeks just to germinate so they would need to be started fairly soon. Once they sprout they are still a slow grower for a few months.

    They are known as Red Ruffled Eggplant or Pumpkin on a Stick.

  • Acequiamadre
    Acequiamadre Posts: 269 ✭✭✭

    These look amazing. Bests of luck and let us know how it goes!

  • Cornelius
    Cornelius Posts: 872 ✭✭✭✭

    @Denise Grant That is great! I wanted them as a cool Halloween decoration (and being food at the same time makes it even cooler!)