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Articles about Vegetable Crops for the Garden

  Brandywine Tomatoes - Get the Most From This Heirloom Variety
  Choosing a Site For Your Home Vegetable Garden
  Double Your Crops
  Getting Children Interested in Growing Vegetables
  Grow Your Own Salad
  Growing Vegetable Plants Becomes More Than Just A Hobby
  Learning About Indoor Container Vegetable Gardening
  List of vegetable crops by difficulty
  Mushroom Growing in Odd Unused Spaces
  Non Hybrid Seeds For Survival Gardening
  Organic Container Gardening - Simple and Easy Ways to Grow Vegetables and Flowers in Pots
  Organic Vegetable Cultivation Table
  Over Wintering Chilli Pepper Plants
  pH preferences of food crops
  Vegetable Crops in alphabetical order by name
  How to grow organic Asparagus
  How to grow organic Aubergines
  How to grow organic Beetroot
  How to grow organic Broad beans
  How to grow organic Broccoli
  How to grow organic Brussels sprouts
  How to grow organic Cabbage
  How to grow organic Calabrese
  How to grow organic Carrot
  How to grow organic Cauliflower
  How to grow organic Celeriac
  How to grow organic Celery
  How to grow organic Celtuce
  How to grow organic Chinese broccoli
  How to grow organic Chinese cabbage
  How to grow organic Chicory
  How to grow organic Corn
  How to grow organic Cucumbers and Gherkins
  How to grow organic Endive
  How to grow organic Florence fennel
  How to grow organic French beans
  How to grow organic Garlic
  How to grow organic Globe artichokes
  How to grow organic Jerusalem artichokes
  How to grow organic Kale and borecole
  How to grow organic Kohl rabi
  How to grow organic Komatsuna
  How to grow organic Land cress
  How to grow organic Leaf beet
  How to grow organic Leeks
  How to grow organic Lettuce
  How to grow organic Mizuna
  How to grow organic Mustard greens
  How to grow organic New Zealand spinach
  How to grow organic Onions
  How to grow organic Parsnips and Hamburg Parsley
  How to grow organic Peas
  How to grow organic Peppers (hot and sweet)
  How to grow organic Potatoes
  How to grow organic Radishes
  How to grow organic Rocket
  How to grow organic Runner beans
  How to grow organic Salad onions
  How to grow organic Salsify, Scorzonera and Scolymus
  How to grow organic Seakale
  How to grow organic Shallots
  How to grow organic Spinach
  How to grow organic Squash
  How to grow organic Swede
  How to grow organic Texsel greens
  How to grow organic Tomatoes
  How to grow organic Turnips

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Organic Gardening:

How to grow organic Aubergines

Aubergines do best in a greenhouse

Aubergines (Eggplant)

Solanum melongena

Family: Solanaceae (Group 8)

Aubergine, known in America as Eggplant, is a tropical bush up to 75cm (2½') tall with a spread of 60cm (2'), and with prickly leaves and stems. It is much more tender and difficult to grow than tomatoes and peppers (which are the same Family), probably because there hasn't been such a concerted effort to develop varieties that grow well in our cool climate. Still, with global warming hotting up, who knows what we'll be growing in a few years time?


Aubergines require deep, fertile soil. They grow best in a cold greenhouse, but can be moved outside in July and August in good summers if grown in large pots.

Recommended cultivars

Long Purple, Moneymaker
Large fruiting: Slice rite, Black Enorma, Bonica F1


Sow in heat from mid-March to early April at 70-80ºF (21-30ºC). After germination, seedlings require a minimum nighttime temperature of 60ºF (16ºC) and daytime 64ºF (18ºC) to keep them growing. Pot on at 5cm (2") into 9cm (3½") pots, then into 13cm (5") pots if necessary.

Plant out in the greenhouse in late April to early May or outdoors under cloches after the last spring frost. Space 45cm (18") each way and provide staking.

Keep well watered. Pinch out at 15cm (6"). Restrict fruiting to one per stem, four per plant. Feed with tomato fertiliser every 10-12 days once fruits start to set.

Pests and Diseases

Glasshouse whitefly can be a problem in greenhouses. Growing repellent plants (see below) may discourage infestation. The best control is a parasitic insect called Encarsia formosa, but you have to stop them escaping by covering all potential exits with fine net (such as net curtain material). Early introduction, as soon as the pests are seen, is essential, but not before, or the parasite will die of starvation.

Red spider mite may infest crops both indoors and out. The problem is greatest where humidity is low, so raising the humidity is helpful. The predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis can be used indoors, introduced before infestation becomes too heavy (like Encarsia formosa above).

Aphids may appear on plants both indoors and out, colonising the undersides of the leaves. Grow repellent plants (see below) and spray with insecticidal soap or pyrethrum. Small infestations can be squashed with the fingers.
Basil, French Marigold and Shoofly plants are deterrents for both whitefly and aphids.

If you're interested in healthy food, you may also be interested in our sister site, The Health Site, Your Online Health Channel.

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