But....it is one of those tasks that can mean the difference between a successful harvest and the disappointment of broken off branches of yet to ripen fruit - especially with peppers, due to their relatively brittle stems that can snap easily under the weight of the attached peppers. It can keep plants growing vertically instead of sprawling all over each other.
After a few days of heavy rain, a quick look at my driveway plants this morning convinced me it was time to attend to the eggplant and peppers and get out the twine and scissors. Quite a few of the plants were flopping over, which was a set up for future disasters! But I discovered that it really is all about a frame of mind - when I decided I was going to give up an hour to ensuring all plants were adequately tied, it actually became a very pleasant and interesting experience.
When working with the peppers, sitting on a mat on the ground due to the short stature of the plants (and to save my back), the variations in stem color, flower placement - noting which peppers were budding, which were flowering - even the subtle differences in flower color - were fascinating. Even more interesting were the eggplant - and it is clear that each eggplant variety has a specific stem, leaf, and even leaf vein color. The buds have very different coloring on the calyx - and some are quite thorny. The eggplant stems I saw this morning varied from green to green with a brownish or purplish wash, to deep, rich purple. Foliage was grayish, or vibrant, or medium green, and some had lavender shading. The veins in the leaves were green, or green shading to brown, or purple - or just completely purple.
I will try to post some pics - as I sat among the plants trying to get the loop of the twine just right to secure the stems to the stake, I wished my camera was handy. One of the ways that I spot unexpected crosses with my eggplant is noting the "correct" stem and leaf color - and comparing the following year to anything that looks different. I am getting some pretty good documentation on the appropriate appearance characteristics of the eggplant seedlings - this also helps me ensure that the seedlings we sell are what they should be.
Watch for some pics soon.