Aubergines: How to Know When to Harvest

You stand back and feel a swell of pride as you look at your now grown auberdine plants.  They are a spectacle to behold – bright purple fruits against the green leaves.  But how do you know when it’s time to pick them?

There are actually no accurate guidelines to follow which would tell you when to harvest.  Growing your own vegetable or fruit means you have the final say what variety to plant, how to grow your plants and when to pick its fruits.

There are a few rules of thumb though.

To obtain the maximum flavor of your aubergine, it is best that it be picked just before it becomes fully mature.  How would you know they are close to becoming fully grown?

The most obvious sign is the eggplant’s color.  If you have grown the purple variety and the fruit has already turned purple completely, it’s time to pick.

The next thing to consider is its size.  Depending on the variety, common eggplants should be picked when they’re a little bigger than your hand.

Also take note of its skin.  Hold the fruit you think is ready and put it up to the light for a better look.  Does it have a reflective sheen to it?  If it’s shiny and looks as if it’s covered with oil, it’s time to harvest.

The aubergine should be firm.  If it’s not and it has already lost its sheen, that means you have left the aubergines on the plant too long – they are already past their best.

To harvest, cut the stem with a knife instead of pulling the fruit to avoid damaging the plant.

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