~ Seed for Very Early AUBERGINES ~
In 2002 we started looking for early aubergines. We asked 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 really early, under cover, and keep the
seeds warm until they germinate - for example in a propagator or in your airing cupboard.
Screen is too small to display the sowing calendar. Try turning your device sideways.
= normal sowing & harvest time = also possible depending on conditions
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.
20 seed £
Our star producer in 2016, Black Beauty is a modern early aubergine that produces really fat fruit on nice sturdy plants.
Like all aubergines, requires a polytunnel or greenhouse, but it can make really huge fruit when its happy, the picture here on the car bonnet has a pound coin for scale!
Pear-shaped fat black fat fruit, productive.
22 seed £
A very well-known variety making longer thinner fruit , that are (unsurprisingly) deep purple . This particular version of it is maintained by the seedhouse of Pieterpikzonen in The Netherlands, and so is selected for European conditions.
Long deep-purple fruit, white flesh.
22 seed £
A great medium-sized cylindrical 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, so we in the UK still need to grow it under cover) and it doesn't require the high temperatures that glasshouse aubergines are used to.
Earliness, consistently high production and good flavour make this one of our favourites.
Long black fruit, white flesh.
22 seed £
White Dourga - NEW
A great new variety brought to our attention by Jen Boncyk. She grows seed for us on her small farm high up in the mountains in the Pyrenees in France, and is always on the lookout for early high-yielding varieties.
She said we really should try this one, and it is fantastic! It produces early and carries on fruiting for a long time. Did really well in our polytunnel here in Wales.
It's an old French variety ; the abundant fruit are a long classic shape with white skin, and firm and tasty.
16 seed £
Czech Early Aubergine
An amazing aubergine from the Czech republic, this is really quick to set fruit and then carries on for ages. They are about the size of a pear, and it just makes more and more and more as long as you keep picking it.
Really early. Highly productive; we couldn't keep up with eating all the aubergines from 6 plants.
At least 12 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.