~ Seed for Very Early AUBERGINES ~
In 2002 we started looking for early aubergines in our vegetable seed 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
A traditional early variety that makes large black fruit. They are round-to-oval , gently ribbed, and it does really well under cover in the UK.
Rounded black fruit, white flesh. Good production of large aubergines.
Order AuRV - 20 seed £
Black Beauty is a modern, reliable early fruiting aubergine that produces glossy, medium sized fruits on nice sturdy plants.
They are a deep-purple-black colour, and slightly bent. As with all aubergines in the UK it really requires a polytunnel or greenhouse.
Pear-shaped black fruit, productive.
Order AuBB - 25 seed £
A great medium-sized cylindrical black aubergine from France, with firm white flesh. We have always found it quick to get going and the plants are very sturdy.
This variety was bred for outdoor growing (in France, mind you, so we in the UK are really better off growing it under cover) and it does not require the same high temperatures that glasshouse aubergines are used to.
Earliness, consistently high production and good flavour make this one of our favourites. If you only grow one, try this one!
Long black fruit, white flesh.
Order AuBN - 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.