~ Seed for Very Early AUBERGINES ~
Back in 2002 we started our aubergine trials. We asked many collectors around the world for their earliest & most reliable varieties to try out, and grew them together to compare them.
The 'best of the best' are offered here - these ultra-early aubergines give you a good chance of a decent crop in the variable UK summers. We've had really nice letters from people who haven't been able to grow aubergines until they tried these varieties.
Aubergines are a little slower growing than their
near relatives the Tomatoes & Peppers.
The key point is to start them off early with some heat and then grow on in a greenhouse/polytunnel.
Josie says "this one's my favourite" ...
When to sow aubergine seed? You must start it going really early, under cover, and keep the
seeds warm until they germinate - for example in a propagator or in your airing cupboard.
Ronde de Valence
An old and resilient variety that makes round black fruit. They are spherical , sometimes gently ribbed, and it usually does well under cover in the UK.
Round black fruit, white flesh.
Order AuRV - 20 seed £
Those of you who have been with us for years will know that we've always offered "De Barentane" as our reccomended aubergine for the UK. However, for the past couple of seasons we've been unable to get good quality seed of that.
Because we insist on supplying you with only reliable seed - especially with things like aubergines where there isn't time for a later sowing if the first doesn't work - for now we are offering this very similar variety instead: Black Beauty is a good, really reliable early fruiting variety that produces glossy, medium sized fruits on nice sturdy plants.
As with all aubergines in the UK it really requires a polytunnel or greenhouse.
Good fresh seed with quick germination. Pear-shaped black fruit, productive.
Order AuBB - 25 seed £
Saving your own Aubergine Seed:
Ben demonstrates: Here you can see the seed squidged
out of a very ripe fruit - this is best done in a bowl of water -
then rinsed through a sieve, and tapped out onto a plate to dry.
Aubergines do cross quite a lot, so you need to grow only one variety - or isolate plants (or branches) with a net cage.
There are more detailed home-seed saving guides (printable) over to the left of this page,
in the box titled 'SeedSaving', with sheets on drying and storing your seed too.
And of course, seed-saving is only possible because these are all real, non-hybrid varieties.