Alternative text should describe the visual content of the image.

Aubergine are a great vegetable to grow in a greenhouse

Aubergines grow happily in containers and grow bags but require consistent warmth to produce their bulbous purple fruits - and are best kept in a greenhouse or polytunnel.
Growing calendar
Sow indoors End Mar-Apr
Plant out End May-Jun
Harvest Aug-Sep

How to grow aubergine

Sow seed early in the year, 0.1cm deep in pots between February and March, and germinate indoors in at around 18-20°C. Transplant aubergine seedlings into large pots in a greenhouse when all chance of frost has gone. Can be planted outdoors, 45cm apart, but will require a sheltered sunny site and a good summer.

Keep soil moist. Feed your aubergine plant with a homemade liquid feed made from comfrey when flowers form. Remove growing tip when 30cm tall (for a bushy habit), and snip all flowers once five fruits have set.

Harvesting and use

Harvest fruits with a 2cm-long stalk when a good size, but before the surface shine has gone. (Dull fruit are usually over-ripe and bitter.) Aubergines are high in fibre and delicious sliced and baked in a parmigiana or moussaka.

Tips for growing aubergine

Small crops are due to poor summers or inconsistent heat. Always choose a warm and sheltered site and go for early ripening varieties, which are better suited to our short growing season.

Growing notes
Difficulty Tricky
Germination time 14-21 days
Average time to harvest 16-20 weeks
Equipment needed Stakes, twine, feed
Average plant size 60cm tall, 30cm wide
Family group to grow with Solanaceae: potato, pepper
Latin name Solanum melongena
Key nutritional content Fibre, vitamin C