~ 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
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 £
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.