A: Yes, eggplant is a semi-perennial plant. Thus they will produce for two to three years if you don’t let them freeze. I don’t think a cloche, a small translucent cover for protecting outdoor plants, will protect them well enough. Eggplant is not very cold-hardy. You need to make a larger cover that will protect all four plants. A light bulb can be used to provide extra warmth. Let me know what happens!
Q: I grew both Seminole pumpkin and luffa gourds this year. They were close together, and the common wisdom is that I shouldn’t save seeds because the two plants may have cross-pollinated. However, they are different genera, so it seems to me that crossing should not occur. The pumpkin is Cucurbita moschata and the luffa is Luffa aegyptiaca (Luffa cylindrica). Kathryn Doubrley, email
A: These two species do not cross naturally. They will only cross within species unless some genetic engineering takes place. For example, Japanese diners enjoy ‘Tetsukabuto,’ an unnaturally crossed product of Hubbard squash and butternut squash. Luffa cylindrica will not normally cross with anything but Luffa cylindrica.
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