April and May were positively balmy. Lovely for an unusually dry and warm Easter weekend in the Brecon Beacons, but for the veggies it was too hot, too early. My rhubarb flopped and my PSB went to seed.
And then it went cold and dull – the coldest summer in 18 years, according to the Guardian. It took my tomatoes ages to ripen, as the average summer temperature reached just 13.6C.
So, fellow growers of the blogosphere, why on earth have I got loads of little aubergines?
Even though I’m not really sure aubergines can be grown properly outside, I’ve tried for the past two years. Last summer, all my plants bar one died, despite a much warmer growing season.
This year I’ve got four very healthy plants, full of fruit. I don’t get it.
Again, I’ve grown Moneymaker. I also grew them indoors, before planting out in June. Maybe the relative success is because I used Mum’s squash planting method this time around.
I for one am hoping for an Indian summer. A warm run into October might give the aubergines a chance to get to a decent size. For me, some outdoor aubergines would be a triumph on the same level as my 4lb cauliflower…
I’ve been trying to work out ways I can give the little fruits a leg up. Should I construct a small cloche to raise the temperature a couple of degrees? Would pulling off the smaller aubergines allow the bigger ones more nutrients, thus giving them a better chance of bulking up?
Would these baby aubergines still be any good for eating somehow?
Any ideas are greatly appreciated.
I’ll see what happens over the next few weeks before deciding on some ideas for further improvement in 2012. At the mo, I’m thinking a nice container plant on my sunny south-facing work windowsill, or maybe some sort of glass covering.
Either way, this is progress, and I can’t ask for more than that.