Aubergines have been very successful in my kitchen garden this summer. A first for me as I have never grown these before and they have been surprisingly easier than I had thought. I bought a packet of seeds and planted them in a small pot of sowing compost in early spring. I watered them and covered the pot with a plastic bag to conserve the humidity.
I kept the little pot in the utility room where the boiler is situated so that they would have a warm environment to germinate in. I was not disappointed as the seedlings popped through within a couple of weeks, and I removed the plastic cover.
As soon as they had about 5 leaves on each plant, I transplanted them into small individual pots so that they would have space to grow. These young plants now lived by the glass patio door in the dining room floor so that they would have enough light to grow.
Once the weather started becoming warmer, I began hardening these young plants. This means I took them out in the day time and brought them in during the chillier nights so that they could get accustomed to the outdoors. In a couple of weeks, the nights had warmed up and with no danger of frost, the young aubergine plants were ready for their stay outside! Four of the plants were transplanted into the wooden planter on my patio, with one for my sister-in-law who loves aubergines.
The sunny patio has provided the warmth that they need and they have simply flourished this summer! It wasn’t long before we saw pretty lilac flowers which we have been hand pollinating to help … just in case the bees missed any!
This can be done with a clean ear bud or a feather – simply brush lightly on the yellow centres from one flower to the other. Thank you to my brother-in-law who helped us with this!
Soon after, to our delight there were little baby aubergines!
Since then, we have harvested some more. I am so impressed with this summer’s harvest of aubergines especially as they were grown outdoors and not in the greenhouse or poly tunnel. I will definitely plant more seeds next spring. This year has certainly shown me that they can be easily grown with lots of sunshine, some watering and a little help with pollination!