Organic aubergine plant FAQs
Aubergines are fun and fairly easy to grow here in the UK, especially if you have access to a greenhouse or polytunnel. To help you get your crop off to a good start, here are some answers to your aubergine FAQs.
What are grafted Aubergine plants?
Aubergines love warm, sunny climates – not the kind of conditions we tend to experience too often here in the UK. Several aubergine varieties, particularly those producing smaller fruit, do grow quite happily in our UK climate, especially in milder southern counties. However, plant experts have realised that by grafting tasty aubergines to a vigorous rootstock, there’s a much better chance of getting great harvests. Grafted aubergines are better able to withstand cool conditions without affecting the crop and make a great option for anyone thinking of growing this lovely, tasty and nutritious fruit.
How many aubergines can I expect per plant?
To get the best results from your aubergines, plant them into fertile, free-draining soil, keep on top of watering, and feed with a tomato feed fortnightly once the flowers appear. Aubergines need lots of sun and a long growing season to give their best. Under good growing conditions, your plants should produce up to eight fruits. Bear in mind that with the larger-fruiting plants, it’s best to pinch off further flowers once you have five or six forming. This way, the plant can put all its energy into a smaller number of big, tasty aubergines.
How big do aubergine plants grow?
Depending on the variety, aubergines will grow to around 90cm in height. These plants can become top-heavy and should be supported with a cane or other plant supports. Some gardeners pinch out the growing tip once the plant reaches a foot in height. This encourages a nice bushy habit which produces a good harvest of fruit. In terms of the fruit, plants which produce smaller fruit tend to be easier and more prolific here in the UK, while the bigger varieties tend to need more care. That said, if you opt for a grafted vegetable plant, you get the best of both worlds with vigorous growth and better harvests.