DELIVERY INFO: We currently expect to deliver new orders for plants & veg patches within 3 weeks. Please see FAQs for further info.
Aubergine – Black Beauty
Easy to grow and deliciously tasty
Home grown aubergines are an absolute delight. Easy to grow and delicious in flavour, finding these black jewels in your garden at harvest time is always a real treat.
DELIVERY: Please see FAQs for up-to-date delivery information
Number of plants: 5
Variety: Black Beauty (organic*)
Can be grown in: Pots and containers, grow bags, raised beds. Find out more about growing aubergines in our growing guide below.
In the kitchen: Try cooking these in or over hot charcoal and then drizzling with a mediterranean inspired drizzle. Yummy.
Plant out: late April to early July. These plants will arrive bare-rooted with an approximate height of 10-20cm.
Aubergines are best grown in good fertile soil, with a healthy dose of sunshine, ideally in a greenhouse, conservatory or polytunnel.
Perfect for pots, grow bags & beds
Medium pots (approx 30cm deep) and grow bags (3 to a bag) are ideal, or grow them in raised beds with plenty of compost.
How far apart?
About 50cm between plants.
Give them support
When you plant your aubergines, pop in a bamboo cane for support and tie the plant on loosely at the stem.
Pinch out growing tips
Once the plant reaches 40cm height, pinch out the growing tips (this literally means to pinch off the very top part of the plant with your fingers). This will prevent it from growing further upwards and instead it will create a more compact, bushy plant.
Pinch off excess flowers
When it flowers, it’s a good idea to pinch off flowers to just leave 5 or 6 – this gives the fruits a better chance of growing to a good size.
Water & feed regularly
Keep aubergines well watered so that the soil remains consistently moist. Once the flowers & fruits start to develop, give them a good feed fortnightly – try our liquid feed.
When to harvest
Pick your aubergines when they’ve reached their full size, usually in late summer/early autumn. The skin should be shiny and they should give a little when squeezed. Cut them off carefully at the stem using a knife or secateurs.
Aphids include greenfly, blackfly, whitefly and they can appear in clusters on the stems of plants. You will be able to see the tiny bugs, and you may notice yellowing leaves, distorted growth and a general stickiness as they secrete their honeydew.
Plant lots of marigolds and tagetes in and around plants that suffer from aphids (tomatoes and broad beans etc) – this helps to attract ladybirds and lacewings which in turn eat the aphids and keep populations down for you.
Place sticky, yellow things in amongst crops. A vaseline covered yellow bucket balancing upside down on a bamboo cane will work wonders…the aphids are attracted to it and will land on the bucket and get stuck there.
Make a garlic spray – peel some garlic cloves, slice them and boil them in water for 10 mins. Let the water cool before removing the garlic pieces. Add a little organic soap to the garlic water and spray it on vulnerable plants.
Give any aphid-ridden plants a good strong water spray with the garden hose to wash them off. Do this once or twice a day until the plant is aphid free.
Blossom End Rot
Caused by a calcium deficiency (that is usually due to a lack of water), blossom end rot can affect aubergine fruits – they will start to rot at the bottom.
Keep soil consistently moist but not waterlogged.
In hot weather, be sure to give plants a deep watering so that the water penetrates down into the soil rather than staying at surface level where it will quickly evaporate again.
Add a mulch around the base of plants
One affected fruit doesn’t mean the whole crop will be ruined – just make sure you change the way you water the plants as soon as you spot it as the younger, undeveloped fruits still have a chance.
Red Spider Mite
These tiny mites are practically invisible to us humans, so the first thing you may notice are the mottled leaves. Prevention is definitely better than a cure – try to keep the greenhouse/polytunnel from becoming too dry as this provides a good environment for red spider mites. A little moisture in the atmosphere will help to keep them at bay. Also mist leaves (i.e lightly spray them with water) on a daily basis to prevent red spider mite.
Pale or mottled leaves are an indication of red spider mite (see above). Other discolouration of leaves, particularly yellow, indicate a nutrient deficiency – keep plants well watered, use a liquid feed fortnightly and they should bounce back.
Tiny bugs on stems = Aphids
Yellow or pale leaves = Nutrient deficiency
Fruits rotting at the bottom = Blossom end rot
Lots of flowers but no fruit = Poor pollination
Mottled leaves – Red spider mite
You should harvest aubergines as you want to eat them – they will store in the fridge for a few days, but are much better cooked fresh.
Ways to cook
Aubergines are really versatile, they are great for the BBQ, delicious in tomato sauces and cooked down in a veggie lasagne, and you can make some really tasty dips with them too.
Recipe: Baba Ghanoush
Try this very tasty recipe for a Lebanese style dip…
Take 2 medium aubergines and chargrill the skins all around over hot coals or a flame. Set aside to cool.
Once cooled, peel the skins off and mash the flesh in a bowl.
Add one clove crushed garlic, a generous squeeze of lemon juice, a teaspoon of tahini paste and a handful of chopped coriander.
Season with sea salt and black pepper and serve with pitta bread.
When we deliver
We usually deliver these plants through into July, although it’s a little dependent on the weather.
You can order from…
These plants are available to be ordered now and we’ll despatch them as soon as they are big enough to both handle the journey to your garden and handle life outside the poly tunnel.
Do I need to sign for them?
All our plant orders are dispatched with an overnight courier* to mainland UK and do not need to be signed for when they are delivered, but will be left somewhere safe. When placing your order, please let us know where you would like the plants left if you are not in when the courier delivers.
We will keep you posted
You will receive an email to let you know that your order is ready to be dispatched and another on the day your plants are packed and leave us, so you know to expect and prepare for their arrival.