Aubergine 'Pinstripe F1' is a small fruited, compact bush variety of aubergine. It is a unique variety bred specifically for container production. Its compact habit makes it a perfect choice for mixed flower and vegetable planters.
Traditional eggplants can be tall and require staking and are difficult to handle at times as they are thorny. 'F1 Pinstripe' stays compact, does not require staking and is virtually spineless unless stressed, making it much easier to handle and harvest.
These smaller fruited varieties are easily grown in containers. Make sure your container is large enough and keep it well watered. In cooler climates, growing aubergines in containers is a good option as they can be moved to a protected spot whenever a cold spell threatens.
'Pinstripe F1' producing a heavy yield of deep purple oval-round fruits with distinctive white stripes. The silvery-green foliage looks stunning when dripping with pale striped purple fruit.
The attractive fruits and compact, dwarf habit make the plant ideal for a sunny patio or small greenhouses and vegetable plots.
Growing to a height of around 75cm (30in), with a spread of 60cm (24in), the compact plants are well suited to growing in containers or in open ground in a warm sunny location, and will grow easily in a greenhouse or tunnel.
Sow January to April under glass at 15 to 20°C (60 to 68°F) and limit number of fruits per plant to 3 or 4. The beautiful purple-black oval-round fruits mature in just 60 to 65 days from transplant and can be harvested from August onwards.
Typically 80 to 100 grams in weight they are at their best when harvested when the fruits are small, just slightly bigger than an egg.
Sowing: Sow January to April for growing under glass or March to April for planting outdoors
Whilst Aubergine is a Tender Perennial, it is cultivated as an Annual.
Seeds are typically started eight to ten weeks prior to the anticipated frost-free date.
Soaking the seeds overnight may help germination.
Sow 6mm (¼in) deep into 9cm pots containing a moist seed compost and “just cover” with a sprinkling of compost or vermiculite (do not exclude light as this helps germination)
Place in a propagator or warm place, and keep at a constant temperature of 20 to 25°C (68-77°F). Keep the surface of the compost moist but not waterlogged; germination will take between 8 to 21 days Transplant seedlings carefully while quite small into 15cm (5in) pots and grow on at 18-21°C (65-70°F).
For Outdoor Crops:
Acclimatise plants to outdoor conditions for 10 to 15 days. Plant out into sheltered site when all risk of frost has passed and the soil is warm. Plant 45cm (18in) apart in rows 90 to 120cm (3 to 4ft) apart. Aubergines grow well outside, but need gradual acclimatising to the more varied conditions.
A brilliant tip for this: enclose a block of plants, spaced about 60cm (2ft) apart in each direction, within a box of straw bales. These provide a brilliantly cheap but effective windbreak. If a cold night is forecast, simply drape fleece over the bales and anchor it with bricks.
For Greenhouse Crops:
Grow as above, but transplant into in 20cm (8in) pots or growing bags.
Stake as you would for tomatoes. Provide plenty of water, especially in dry weather.
Black plastic mulch is helps to warm the soil, prevent weeds and conserve moisture.
Feed every 14 days with high potash (tomato) fertiliser once the first fruits have set. Cease feeding when fruits are fully formed. Mist the foliage regularly with tepid water to discourage red spider mite and to help flower set.
The flowers are relatively unattractive to bees and the first blossoms often do not set fruit. Hand pollination will improve the set of the first blossoms. Tap flowers daily to assist pollination. Remove the main tip/growing point when plants are 30cm (12in) high.
Harvest: 75 days to harvest
First harvests can be made from the early sowings from July onwards. Harvest at their desired size, but while fruits are still shiny and young. Fruits are typically cut from the vine just above the calyx owing to the semi-woody stems.
Pick regularly or plants will need further support to support the weight of the fruit.
Freezing is the best method for home preservation.
Harvest before seeds become mature and when colour is uniformly dark.
Although we think of aubergines as being a vegetable they are technically a fruit. This is because the aubergine we eat is the ripened ovary of the flower.
Other fruits disguised as vegetables include the tomato, peppers, courgette and closely related to the courgette, the cucumber, pumpkin and squash.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 10 Seeds Common Name Patio Eggplant Other Common Names Apple of Love, Poor Man's Caviar Other Language Names Brinjal, Melongene, Guinea Squash Family Solanaceae Genus Solanum Species melongena Cultivar Pinstripe F1 Hardiness Tender Perennial Height 75cm (30in). Spread 60cm (24in). Spacing Outdoors: Plant 45cm (18in) apart in rows 90 to 120cm (3 to 4ft) apart.
Greenhouse: Transplant into in 20cm (8in) pots or growing bags.
Position Full Sun Time to Sow January to April for growing under glass or March to April for planting outdoors Germination 8 to 21 days at 20 to 25°C (68 to 77°F) Harvest Harvest at their desired size, but while fruits are still shiny and young. Time to Harvest 78 Days Notes Cultivated as an Annual