If you thought it wasn’t possible to grow aubergines in our British climate, think again!
At Perrywood we sell a particular early cropping variety called ‘Moneymaker’, which is more tolerant of colder temperatures. Moneymaker produces good crop yields and can be grown in a greenhouse or in patio containers outdoors. We have young plants here ready to be potted up in your chosen location.
If you prefer to grow aubergine from seed, follow this simple guide:
Position: On the whole, aubergines prefer to be grown in a greenhouse. Sow aubergine seeds indoors from February to May.
Sowing: Soak seeds in warm water for 24 hours before sowing to assist germination. Sow seeds an inch deep into 9cm pots containing good quality seed compost. Place in a warm sunny position indoors and water. Once the seeds have germinated and the pot is filled with roots, transfer plants to 23cm pots of compost and return to a warm sunny position, continue to transplant into bigger containers as the plants fill the pots. Stake and tie plants as they grow.
Outdoors: If growing on outdoors, ensure all risks of frost have passed. Choose a sheltered position in full sun and plant in rich fertile soil allowing 90cm of space between plants. Control weeds by hoeing or hand weeding between plants and rows. Keep the soil moist.
Care: Pick off the tip from the main stem when the plants are about 30cm high to encourage the plant is bush out. Water regularly and feed with a high potassium liquid fertiliser every two weeks to encourage healthy fruits. Mist the foliage regularly to discourage pests. When five or so fruits have set, remove the remaining flowers.
Harvest: Pick the aubergines once they reach approximately 15cm.
Enjoy your aubergine as a ‘Melanzane alla Parmigiana’ prepared with layers of aubergine, parmesan, tomatoes and basil – just like mama makes!