Aubergine – Leonidia
Aubergine – Leonidia is a real gem – even people who don’t love aubergines will love this vegetable. Produces long lilac fruits with white stripes and very tender, bitter-free flesh. It is so special and unique to this area in Greece that it has been awarded a Protected Designation of Origin status. This means that only in this area the vegetable can be sold as “Tsakonian Eggplant”.
This is quite similar to the Jersey Royal potato which can only be sold as Jersey Royal if grown on the Jersey island, otherwise the same potato is sold as Intermediate Kidney. It’s the first year I’m trying out this new aubergine, but I was so overwhelmed by it that we make it available immediately and let gardeners try it out and hopefully give us some feedback.
February to late March
Sow 5 seeds into a small pot (7cm) and keep in a warm place. Pot on into individual 7cm pots when ready. Plant into greenhouse or polytunnel.
Between rows: 50cm
Between plants in the row: 50cm
Approx. seed count: 10
Soil and site:
Aubergines benefit from good ventilation so you may plant them close to the entrance. They require a fertile soil so plenty of mature compost or well rotted manure should be incorporated.
Harvest the fruits when they are of the required size. The fruits should be shiny. If they turn pale it means that they are over mature and will taste tough. You can expect to get between 5 to 12 fruits per plant. The modern hybrid varieties will yield twice as many as some of the older types.
Unfortunately aubergines are very prone to aphid attacks especially from the greenhouse whitefly and greenfly. The red spider mite may also present problems. Blossom end rot may be caused by irregular watering. As a prevention you can use a garlic or seaweed spray on a regular basis (every 10 days) throughout the whole growing season. This will prevent aphid attacks and will also strengthen your plants. Grey mould (botrytis) may also affect the plants. Use a milk/water mix (1:5) to cure the problem.
How much to grow?
I never plant more than 3 plants, enough for an occasional treat.
Aubergine – Leonidia
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