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Aubergines – LandGirl

auber1I have always loved aubergines and after two holidays in Turkey, where they really know how to roast an egg plant, I have been growing my own.

I

started off with the classic Moneymaker variety. I grow them in the greenhouse with moderate success. This year I’m trying a second variety: a white one called Clara.

Two years ago they were struck with a lurgy – almost overnight. The leaves yellowed, but only on half the leaf, and they started to wilt despite being regularly watered.

I googled it and found that aubergines can be quite susceptible to wilt caused by fungi in the soil. There are different types and the symptoms are very similar. The fungi get into the vascular system of the plant and stop the plant from taking up water. I lost the whole crop.

auber2Last year they were fine and this year they really seemed to be thriving too until one of the Claras stopped growing and the lower leaves began wilting and going yellow. It had just started flowering and its Moneymaker neighbours were beginning to set fruit. It was a difficult decision but I dug it up, keeping as much soil around the roots as possible and threw it away (NOT in the compost heap…). I also cut the stem in half and could see that the vascular system was totally blocked up and discoloured.

Fingers crossed that it won’t affect the other plants. I’ll also have to replace all the soil in the border again as the fungus will just stay in the ground ready to infect new plants.

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