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Also known as eggplant, due to the shape of the fruit of earlier varieties, aubergines are becoming an increasingly popular choice for the grow-your-own enthusiast. Given a good summer, aubergines can be very productive, especially when grown under glass. However, aubergine plants are sensitive to cold winds and heavy rain, making them less reliable when grown outdoors.
Solanum melongena 'Moneymaker' is an early maturing aubergine, bearing good yields of long, elegant dark coloured fruit, with a good flavour.
For best results grow Solanum melongena 'Moneymaker' in moist but well-drained soil in full sun. Pinch out growing tips when 30cm high to encourage branching, feed weekly with a high-potash fertiliser once plants have started to flower, and mist fruits with water to encourage fruit set. Remove fruiting sideshoots after five to six fruits have set, and pick fruits before the skin loses its gloss – a symptom of over-ripeness.
Plant type: Fruit
Flower colour: Lavender
Foliage colour: Mid-green
Sun exposure: Full sun
Skill level: Experienced
Time to plant seeds: February to March
Time to plant: May to June
Flowering period: June to August
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