Seed saving from Aubergines

Aubergine flowers are mainly self-pollinated, but can be crossed by insects.  So, if you are planning to save seed, you should only grow ONE variety.

You should aim to grow six to eight plants each year to maintain a variety long term. In Scotland aubergines are grown in a greenhouse or polytunnel, so you should grow just one variety at a time.

To get ripe seeds let the fruits mature well past eating stage.  Purple/black crops turn a muddy purple-brown colour, green/white ones turn yellowish.  Mark one or two early good fruits on each plant to leave for seed, and you can still pick and eat the later fruits.

To remove the seed, cut into quarters lengthwise, avoiding the core, and pull apart. Put the quarters into a bowl of tepid water, and rub the seeds out with your fingers.  Add more water, stir thoroughly, & wait a few minutes.  Good seeds will sink to the bottom, leaving debris and poor quality seeds on the surface.  Pour the debris off gently through a  sieve, then refill with water and repeat a couple more times.  Eventually you will be left with good seeds in plain water. 

Empty into a clean sieve, shake to remove as much water as possible, and then tip on to a plate and spread out well.  Put to dry somewhere warm but not hot, and mix occasionally to make sure that they dry evenly and don’t stick together.  

You can watch a video here and decide whether you want to try growing aubergine and saving seed.

Aubergine seeds will keep up to seven years if dried thoroughly & stored in a cool dark place.

Ronde de Valence – A traditional early variety that makes large black fruit. They are round-to-oval , gently ribbed, and it does really well under cover in the UK.

Black Beauty is a modern early aubergine that produces really fat fruit on nice sturdy plants. Like all aubergines, Black Beauty requires a polytunnel or greenhouse, but it can make really huge fruit when its happy

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