Aubergine

A star in mediterranean cuisine, the aubergine will add flavour to your summer without letting you down.
Common name : Aubergine
Scientific name : Solanum melongena
Family : Solanaceae
Category : Veggies
Type of plant : Annual
Edible
Edible
This annual from the same family as the tomato likes the sun and hates humidity. Growing them isn't so easy in northern regions because it needs a lot of summer sun to thrive. If you have the possibility to grow it in a sheltered place, go for it!

Sowing & planting

J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D

Flowering

J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D

Harvestint

J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D

Caracteristics

Exposition
Water needs
Granulométrie plants.granulometry_3
Frost-resistance Medium
Zone USDA 9a
Height 50 - 150
pH 6 - 7

Identify my aubergine

These annual plants bloom purple and produce plump, ovoid fruits with a dark purple (eggplant!) color.

Sow my aubergine

You can sow in open soil starting in mid-May after the last frosts, in rich ground with plenty of sun.

Dibble my aubergine

Transplant to open soil once the ground is sufficiently warm (13°C) and there is no more risk of frost (mid-April to mid-May, depending on region). Leave 70-90 cm of space in all directions around your plants. Plant in pre-fertilized soil, filling the planting hole with a mixture of earth and ripe compost. Water copiously! You can then mulch with some mineral-rich comfrey leaves.

Plant my aubergine

Starting in the beginning of May, once there's no more risk of freezing, place them in your planter or garden in a sunny place, sheltered from the wind. Leave a space of about 80 cm around and between each plant Eggplants, like tomatoes, enjoy soil enriched with humus and potassium (so don't overuse nitrogen fertilizers!), and lots of exposure to the sun! Water well, and mulch the plant with comfrey leaves.

Prune my aubergine

Don't prune if growing in southern regions, as the plants will have enough soil to feel the numerous leaves and fruits, and you'll avoid opening cuts which may let disease in! In the north, pruning becomes a dilemma, because eggplant isn't well adapted to these regions, but gardeners want to speed up fructification. Traditionally, we prune eggplants above the fifth leaf (without counting cotyledons), and remove any suckers that emerge from the main stem. If in doubt, try both methods.

Thin out my aubergine

Once the seeds have germinated, thin them so that only one plant remains in each small pot.

Water my aubergine

Water preferably in the morning to avoid cooling the plants at the end of the day. Your eggplant likes to be watered copiously every 10-15 days, provided they're been well mulched. After sowing, water every other day for a few weeks with a light mist in order to keep the soil slightly damp.

Mulch my aubergine

Mulch between the plants one to two weeks after the final planting with a natural mulch which holds in moisture. Ideally, leaf and yard waste works perfectly — grass cuttings, cut branches, and dead leaves! This will limit soil evaporation and thus the need for watering and weeding.

Reap my aubergine

Harvesting takes place from July to October, according to individual varieties. Choose vegetables with a uniform color that come loose easily.

Check on my aubergine

Eggplants are sensitive to the same diseases as tomatoes (unsurprisingly, since they're both Solanaceae). Mildew, which causes grey marks and white felt to appear on the underside of leaves, takes advantage of wet days and excess nitrogen in the soil. Growing under shelter often eliminates the appearance of mildew. Potato beetles can be removed by hand — don't let them splatter in your eyes if you decide to squish them ;) Verticillium wilt (which causes root and fruit rot) and grey rot (which causes yellowing) both enjoy overly humid conditions, particularly under shelters. Aphids can be removed with black soap.

Remove my aubergine

After the harvest, pull up the entire plant. If diseased, don't compost it.

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