There was a time when you had to soak your aubergines in water for several hours in order to get the bitterness out of them, but this is no longer necessary because they have been bred to be usable straight away.
You need to grow them under cover, in a greenhouse or polytunnel. It is possible to grow them on a south facing wall in warmer areas of the UK, and if you live in Climate zones 6 – 8 in the USA you should be fine. They com in a range of colours from white, purple, red, but black is the one that gives the best and most consistent results.
They prefer well drained but moisture retaining soil – and are best grown in a fluffy loam, rich in nutrients. For this reason they do well in grow bags, but remember the drainage. Personally, here in the north of the UK, I like to use ring culture pots, or deep raised beds.
Sowing and Growing
Sow in February at 16C, and keep them at this temperature until the plant is well established which will be around around May. I sow three seeds in an 8 cm pot and then remove the weakest two. When flowers appear, plant into their final growing position under a cold frame or in a greenhouse.
Like tomatoes, aubergines need to be controlled in order to get the best fruit. Stop the plant from growing by pinching out the growing point when it gets to around 20 inches high. Thin flowers to one per stem to ensure large fruits. Keep soil moist at all times and the greenhouse/coldframe humid.
Feed with tomato fertilizer every 10 days when the fruits appear.
Aubergines can get over ripe very easily. Harvest when they have coloured sufficiently. They will keep for a week – no longer, in the fridge.
Pests and Problems
High humidity can lead to fungal infections – especially botrytis. Make sure the aubergine is free from dead leaves and so on, and water in such a way as to keep from splashing around. Ensure fruits have good ventilation around them.
Alter the growing site each year and keep a careful watch for piercing insects such as aphids.
roasted chicken thighs
Prolific cropping, which are really early. Good for containers and needs a sunny, warm position.
Very early plant, easy to crop and good all rounder. Very dark colour.
Very productive, and short to cropping variety.
Oval fruits, longer time needed to harvest.
Probably the best all rounder, general purpose plant.Reasonably easy to grow.
Dark plants with fine white lines! Like a good suit. Heavy cropper.