Sowing season: March – June
Ready to harvest: 10 -12
How to grow aubergine seeds in Ireland.
Starting inside is not essential but can give you a month headstart, so you can be eating your beets in June.
Fill your seed tray with seeding compost (finer than multipurpose compost). Bang the seed tray to settle the compost. Using your finger make an impression in the centre of each cell about 1 inch deep. In your impression place 2 seeds, and cover over with compost. Gently water, ideally using a mist bottle or you can make a little hole in the lid of a small bottle, which will give a slower feed of water.
Leave the seed to grow in a greenhouse, polytunnel or on a windowsill for 4 weeks, before transplanting outside. Ideally the temperature should be above 10 degrees, germination will still occur under 10 degrees but take longer. When you seedlings reach a height of 1 inch, thin them out to leave the strongest looking seedling. Thin by cuting back with a scissors, pulling the seedling will damage the root of the good seedling.
*If you’d like to continue inside you can grow in a 7L pot.
With your trowel dig a small hole the same size as your seedling plug. Plant your seedlings in rows with 10cm between plants and 25 cm between rows.
If possible apply an organic fertiliser about 2 weeks before sowing. With your trowel make a drill/trench 2cm deep, leaving 25 cm between drills. In your drills place 2 seeds every 10cm. Lightly cover the seeds. Once seeds are 1 inch high thin out to leave the strongest seedling in each spot.
Regularly hoe the area lightly to remove weed growth, which will compete with your plants. In dry periods make sure to water well, but avoid over watering.
The beets should be ready to harvest in 10-12 weeks. You should see the beetroot coming up out of the ground. Ideally the beetroot should be between the size of a golf ball and tennis ball. Don’t let the root get too big or it loses its intense flavour. With your trowel dig in beside the root and get under the root, pulling up to loosen.
To have a continuous supply plant new seeds every few weeks. You can plant upto September and harvest in October.