UGH. Turns out things weren't quite as great in the back yard during our absence as they were in the front yard. Our one Ichibahn eggplant, the star of last years garden that produced all year even when everything else in the same bed died of disease, is the only plant that seems to have not grown AT ALL. Upon closer inspection I found it crawling with little green bugs that were quickly identified as Aphids (thank you Google).
The soulution I settled on is getting rid of the two leaves that are beyond hope, spraying the buggies off of the others with a powerful stream of water, and ordering large amounts of live lady bugs to kill the suckers when they try to repopulate. My bugs should be here in 4 days due to the holiday delaying things, and the kids are super excited now that they know that Ladybugs are "meat eaters".
My poor wilting Ichibahn eggplant that was doing SO WELL before we left.
A long view of the fence with our potted cherry tomatoes and eggplant. The tomatoes are going strong and the Chinese eggplant seems aphid free for now.
This plant is growing on the ground all around the potted plants. It's either coming from the neighbors plant bed on the other side, or was planetd there before we moved in. When I rip a leaf off, it had a VERY strong scent that is almost like citronella but I know this plant isn't that. Hopefully Google can help me out here.