How do you know when an aubergine is ripe?

I don’t mean to boast (well, not much anyway), but check out how good my aubergine crop is this year!

lovely aubergine

I’ve never grown an aubergine this big. For spring and early summer, it grew in the greenhouse, but has spent most of the summer outside, lapping up the sunlight.

ripe aubergine

I made sure that the greenhouse doors were open as soon as the aubergine started to flower, so that insects could get in to pollinate this marvellous fruit.

aubergines flowering

And I’ve been feeding it once a week with comfrey tea.


But other than that, I haven’t done anything particularly special with this aubergine, except limit it to five fruits, and snipping off any new ones.

So the question now is how can I tell when it’s ripe?

Well, the guides say that a shiny skin and a length of about six inches is the best sign. Some say you can pick them at any time, as they are like courgettes. But everyone says that it’s a bad idea to leave your aubergines for too long, as they can become bitter. So I reckon it’ll soon be time to start picking this fantastic crop.

Find out more about how to grow aubergines and other vegetables here.

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