Well, we counted our eggplants before they hatched. A few days ago, I went to look at the two beautiful little purple orbs and found that one of them had been gnawed to the nub by some sloppy creature who left shreds of its lunch in the dirt below. Aside from losing the fruit of our labors, I was a little discomfited by the thought of something big enough to chow down a small eggplant in one meal hanging out on the balcony next to our bedroom.
Well, I'll show it, I thought. One of the groundskeepers at Claremont told me that a good non-toxic way to protect fruits and vegetables from pests was to spray them with a solution of water and dishwashing liquid. He explained that they don't like the taste so they leave them alone and all you have to do is wash the soap off before you eat it. I tried that. Our creature went ahead and ate the other eggplant in the same manner. Apparently, he or she thought we had a special on the menu that day and were serving it a la parmigiana. Okay, I don't know much about gardening and I'm stumped. But we've got two more incipient eggplants and I'd really like to protect them. Any ideas out there?