Friday, 14 October 2011

Growing Aubergines Outside

I think I need to fess up... in my last post there were some pictures of my prize aubergines.

These were grown outside in the patio garden but with a little bit of help.

Now I don't have the space for a green house and am so envious of people who are able to grow their tomotoes, aubergines, peppers, chillies, physalis ... the list goes on!... under cover.  They always look so healthy when grown under cover.  And of course they do for they are in the solanaceae family, also known as the sun lovers family.

Whilst I don't have a green house, there are other options for the space challenged container gardener.

Last year, we had a rather disappointing summer (not that much different to the one we've just had) and all the flowers dropped off my aubergines - i.e. no fruit. 

This year the aubergines have been enjoying the comforts of a hort fleece tent fastened to the wall with clothes line pegs and a stone on the floor to stop it flapping about.  They seem to really like the tomato planters I have grown them in this year too as these are the tallest aubergines I have ever grown aubergines. They also enjoy a diet of worm tea from the wormery and comfrey leaves.

If we are getting a good sunshiny day I unveil them and then tuck them in once the sunshine's finished for the day to keep them warm for the night time.

I know, I know, I could just grow easier things that don't have such a need for heat but I love eating aubergines - they are just great roasted in the oven with tomatoes and garlic.  Its a challenging labour of love every year but this year I think I've cracked it!

The other thing I was not telling you in my last post was the peppers and chillies that are still happy outside despite the drop in temps.  They are not showing signs of stress yet and I don't like denying them outside sunshine if they are able to cope with our outside temps so to help them extend their stay outside that little bit longer, they are in the portable greenhouse, a present that my lovely boyfriend bought me last spring that proved invaluable when I was hardening off seedlings in spring and now to extend the growing season into autumn.

So there you have it... I'm now thinking of hort fleece tents for the tomatoes next year, especially if the summer's the same as it was this year I just need to improve on the frame for the hort fleece tent - any tips out there?

2 comments:

  1. I am jealous of your aubergines!

    I have stubbornly tried outdoor aubergines for the past two summers, with little luck. I did better this year, with quite a few fruits but nothing worth eating and certainly not as shiny and healthy as yours.

    However, I shall now try again next year using your methods as my secret weapon...

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  2. Hi Jono

    The last two summers have been particularly hard for growing aubergines. The summer 2009 I had a few small egg sized aubergines but last year the flowers just dropped off. That was why I really wanted some this year and I tried the horticultural fleece.

    I haven't really experimented too much with structures to support the fleece but bendy plastic pipes from DIY places are supposed to be really good.

    Next year I'll use the fleece from hardening off through to fruiting stage. This year the brain wave didn't happen until August when I was determined to try anything to secure a crop!

    Good luck with yours

    Claire

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