Aubergine 'Black Beauty' is an excellent variety producing beautiful pear shaped, glossy, deep purple fruits with a nice flavour and texture.
Black Beauty is relatively early to produce fruits and you will be harvesting aubergines from August onwards, best picked when the skin is still shiny.
Aubergine is a staple of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes and is excellent as a vegetable side dish in its own right, sliced thinly and baked in the oven.
|When to sow
|January to April for growing under glass or March to April for planting outdoors
|Where to sow
|Can be grown either in a greenhouse or outside, in a sunny sheltered position e.g. up against a wall or garage, either in a bed, large pot/container or in grow bags.
|Sow seeds 0.5cm (1/4in) deep, in modules or trays filled with moist compost and place in a warm light position such as a south facing windowsill or where temperature is 20 to 25°C (68 to 77°F).
|What to do next
|When the seedlings are about 15cm (6in) high, transplant to their final growing positions, planting 50cm (20in) apart if in a bed or 2 to 3 plants per grow bag/container. If the plants are to be grown outdoors they should be hardened of for 7 to 10 days, after the date of the last frost, prior to transplanting.
|Pinch out the growing tip when the plant is 30cm (12in) high and stake the stems.
|Add tomato feed to each watering once the fruit have started to swell.
|Harvest fruits when they are about 12-15cm (5-6in) long and the skin surface is still shiny, as once they lose the shine they start to become bitter.
|August to October.
|Misting the foliage down with warm water will deter red spider mite and to help the flowers set.
|Remove remaining flowers when five or six fruits have set.
|Good companions Beans, peppers, tomatoes,
|Aubergines are a good source of dietary fibre.
|Aubergines are an essential ingredient in many Southern European and Middle Eastern dishes and excellent as a vegetable sliced thinly and baked in the oven.
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