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Often called eggplant because of the shape of earlier varieties, this is a lush, tropical plant whose fruits have become popular with our more adventurous changes in diet. Plants can be very productive, especially under glass as outdoors they are sensitive to cold winds and heavy rain. Pinch out growing tips when 30cm (12in) high to encourage branching, and stop fruiting sideshoots when five to six fruits have set. Pick fruits before the skin loses its gloss, which is usually a symptom of over-ripeness. 'Moneymaker' is an early variety which has long, elegant fruit that are produced in abundance.
Plant type: Fruit
Flower colour: Lavender
Foliage colour: Mid-green
Sun exposure: Full sun
Skill level: Experienced
Time to plant seeds: February to March
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