Space the aubergine seeds 50 cm apart. Space the rows at a distance of 75 cm. Plant at a depth of 0.5 to 1 cm. Plant the vegetable seeds in a nice spot in partial shade or full sun. After sowing, water the seeds adequately. The vegetable seeds come in a bag containing approximately 2 grams. This is enough to sow 10 square metres.
|Guarantee:||1 year growth and flowering guarantee|
|Harvesting:||August - October|
|Latin name:||Solanum melongena 'Violetta Lunga'|
|Leafs all year:||No|
Aubergine seed requires no prior treatment.
How to Sow
Sow indoors: February-March.
Solanum melongena (aubergine) is a real heat lover and can be sown indoors in a mini greenhouse, in small turf pots or just in a seed tray. A combination of pots and a mini greenhouse is easier, especially if you can give it some heat from underneath. A perfect temperature for germination is 23-25 degrees centigrade.
In pots: use only 1 seed per pot. Press the seed in with a stick (old pencil?) to no more than 0.5 cm deep and cover. Stand the mini propagator on the windowsill.
Aubergines germinate slowly and it will take 14-21 days, depending on temperature. To help reduce the humidity, a couple of days after germination open the ventilation slots on the propagator.
Once the seedlings reach 10 cm tall, they will need to acclimatise to normal humidity. To do this, remove the propagator lid (your mini-greenhouse) for one hour longer every day. After about 5 days, the seeds will be well accustomed and can be transplanted into a larger pot.
Using a simple seed tray will work too – just cover with see through plastic held up with skewers. To lower the humidity level for the seedlings, simply prick holes in the plastic.
Plant out only when all chance of frost has passed and night temperatures stay above 12 degrees centigrade. We advise first acclimatising aubergine plants (Solanum melongena) before planting out. To do this, stand them outdoors in the shade for an hour longer every day for a week. They can then be planted in a large pot – 3 to a pot. Stand the pots in full sun or dig them in, pot and all, in a sheltered, sunny spot.
Aubergines can be planted in a row, 35 cm apart. Removing the very first buds will encourage the plants to make stronger shoots more able to carry the fruits. Also remove any side shoots as outdoor aubergines require all the energy they can muster to keep the top shoots growing and grow flowers (and then fruit).
Aubergines are self-pollinating and (bumble) bees will help so ‘setting’ the fruit will not be a problem. Aubergine plants will be grateful for a good feed, one that you would normally give to other (flowering) pot plants.
If you plant your aubergines in a greenhouse, they will grow much taller and will require some support. Use canes or even garden twine strung from the roof to the ground.
Water extra in periods or drought, keep the bed free of weeds and your plants will thrive.
Harvest from August to October. In a greenhouse, you can harvest from June.
Once the aubergines are a good size and give slightly when squeezed, they are ready to harvest. Just simply cut the fruit from its stem with a sharp knife.
As they are heat lovers, aubergines will grow best in the greenhouse but that’s not to say that growing outdoors won’t work. Do choose the warmest and most sheltered spot you can.
Aubergines come in various colours but are biologically speaking, all of the same type of plant, just a different type of the same mother variety. There is hardly any differences in taste between those of a different colour.
The aubergine (Solanum melongena) is actually related to the potato (Solanaceae).