Coastal and Tropical South

April, 2011
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

'Twinkle' Eggplant
Some say every eggplant tastes the same, but those are usually the folks who aren't crazy about it in the first place. Subtle differences and varied seed sizes make fans for the solid purple 'Black Beauty' or 'New Orleans Market' varieties. Long green makes smaller seed than round green and it fits better on the grill, too. But now these venerable eggplants have been joined by smaller, even sweeter varieties such as 'Twinkle'. At 2 feet tall, it is perfect for container gardens and it begins fruiting in about 55 days, so the season is long. The pretty fruits are plum-purple streaked with white and absolutely delicious. The plants are spineless, too, an added benefit for those with sensitive skin.

Tool or Gardening Product

Preen for Organic Gardens
Oil-based and 100% organic, this version of an old favorite product is new to most markets. Like its chemical-based counterpart, Preen Organic is meant to save you time in the garden by preventing many weed seeds from sprouting around the landscape. It is labeled for use around vegetables and herbs as well as flowers, trees, and shrubs. Packaged in a plastic jug, Preen Organic is sprinkled around established plants and garden beds. Check the label to see if it controls the weeds you seek to suppress and take advantage of the time you can save when weeds do not come up in the first place.

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