Growing Aubergine at the Allotment

Growing Aubergines at the Allotment

Aubergines (also known as eggplant) are part of the Nightshade plant family and although eaten as a vegetable, they are technically a fruit.

Aubergines can be sown from early in the year; January - April but alike tomatoes and chillies, they need warmth and sunlight once the seedlings appear. They are best sown in a propagator or heated greenhouse. You may wish to wait until late March-April if you are a cooler location.

Aubergines will do best inside a greenhouse in large containers unless you have a warm and sunny location. You can use cloches and similar too.

Sow the seeds in trays and keep them in approximately 18-21oc conditions and with bight sunlight once the seedlings appear. They will require a little lukewarm water.

Due to the weight of the fruits once they have formed, you will need to provide some cane/stick support. If you are planning to grow them outside, find a sunny and unsheltered spot and do this more gradually for them to acclimatise. They will be better off under glass unless we have a particularly warm summer.

When the plant is approximately 30cm tall, pinch out at the stem to encourage bushy growth and more fruits to form. Water regularly and mist them also once they have started flowering as this will help with humidity as well as deterring pests.

You can harvest each aubergine as and when it is ripened from August onwards.

Aubergines should be cooked or blanched before freezing due to their high water content they do not freeze well raw.

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Growing Aubergines in Summary

Sowing Aubergines

  • Sow early in propagator or under glass
  • Keep to approximately 18-21oc
  • Bright sunlight once seedlings appear

Growing Aubergines

  • Give cane support to plants
  • Mist plants as well as water 
  • Preferably grow in a greenhouse

Harvesting Aubergines

  • August onwards 
  • Pick individual fruits as they ripen
  • Cook before freezing