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Turkey Berry Pea Eggplant Solanum Torvum Seeds
Packet of 100+ home grown organic seeds!
Excellent little eggplant in its own right, with small bunches of fruit selling for $3-10 each (300-500gms) in the Asian supermarkets I saw in Melbourne and Brisbane.
Great in just about all Asian dishes, soups, curries, stew you name it, it just seems to fit in well.
Very high in iron, potassium and calcium.
Also the very best plant to graft all “Solanum” plants onto as its so hardy and its central tap root sinks so deep. The grafted plants will survive just about anything.
I’ll come back to that, but first I better explain why I stopped selling it a couple years ago.
The main reason I stopped selling it was germination.
Folks wouldn’t believe me when I told them in the advert that germination time was erratic.
I say again, it is.
Planted in a nice sandy soil mix in a nice warm spot they will all germinate in my experience.
Never ever had a failure in all these years.
BUT, it could take a week or it could take up to a year, and if conditions are not suitable(like if you water them to death causing damping off)then they might not germinate at all.
At the end of the day it all depends on your local conditions, which is something I have absolutely no control over.
Here they generally take 6-8weeks and normally when the weather changes that is the cue to pop.
If it’s consistently cold or consistently hot they will sit dormant with just a couple plants coming up here and there, normally after rain, over a very long period of time.
This is a survival mechanism of the plant and this is 100% NORMAL!
You did not get sold dud/old/bad seeds and a 5 second Google search will confirm that Solanum torvum has a naturally high level of dormancy, even when fresh.
You may want to do a trial with Smoke treatment or GA3 but for me it seemed that change in weather from hot to cold, or cold to hot or dry to wet was the more important factor to trigger germination.
International studies on Solanum torvum germination I have read agree with that.
I can tell you these seeds are fresh, less than 12months old, but I can not and do not guarantee you will have success.
You may fail!
If you are not prepared to gamble, just don’t buy them.
The other reason was the emails about it being a “weed”.
While NOT declared or considered noxious by any Australian state government authorities, it has naturalized to many parts of QLD and for this reason it is important that you net the fruit or stop the birds getting at them and spreading them around.
That said, every single email I got from well meaning outraged folks about it being a major weed at their place, and how dare I sell the seeds, it always turned out to be the much larger and much more aggressive and poisonous Giant devil’s fig Solanum chrysotrichum that was causing an issue.
NOT this fella.
Seriously, every single one….
The two plants are related, the same as supermarket eggplants are closely related too, and they do look visually similar except this fella is much smaller and much much less spiky.
It is also very easy to kill if you just chop the central tap root a foot or so below the ground with a shovel or mattock.
Doing that won’t kill Giant devil’s fig~Solanum chrysotrichum.
I have seen many folks(even a couple well-known and respected botanists) mix them up, and there is also a general prejudice for the Solanum genus in general that seems to come into play when discussing this fella.
I say clearly that it CAN be weedy if not managed responsibly, just like olives, guava, mangoes, coffee, and pretty much every other common food crop, but being edible(unlike the more common Giant Devils fig) it’s easy to control seed spread, just eat the fruit.
So yeah, can be weedy, can have erratic germination, you may not have success, these seeds are a gamble.
Everyone read that? Cool, lets move on.
The main reason folks will be buying the seeds is as a rootstock for grafting other Solanum to.
The reason being is it handles morning temps of -5c in the hills of NSW, and 45c+ up at Cairns.
That means that instead of only being able to get one harvest off an Eggplant or Tomato before they die back from the cold down south, now you can graft them onto this rootstock, giving you a much bigger plant, which produces crop after crop instead of just the one harvest!
It handles the extremes of weather better than most commonly grown varieties, and you get much more fruit off a grafted plant than a standard.
Very commonly used as a rootstock in many parts of USA, UK, EU and some parts of SE Asia.
It’s a common vegetable in its own right in Thai cuisine being the main vegetable ingredient in the now world famous Yellow curry.
Also very popular in Vietnamese, African, Mexican and Indian foods.
Very easy to grow and very prolific fruiter.
Just cook the little green fruit as you would any other eggplant or just eat them raw when yellow and fully ripe.
Raw they are sort of nutty, and a bit slimy like Okra, but surprisingly not unpleasant at all.
I eat them all the time!
There you have it folks, back by popular demand, Turkey berry!
Also known as gully-bean, pea eggplant, platebrush, prickly solanum, shoo-shoo bush, susumber, wild egg plant, terongan, Thai eggplant, turkey berry, by some folks.
Grown by us organically, no nasties, no chems, no problems!!!