Aubergine ‘Slim Jim’


Slim Jim is a terrific dwarf aubergine variety from Italy – an award-winning all-rounder in the patio vegetable category. Its dark-purple foliage and clusters of long, slim, purple fruits make it a perfect choice for ornamental and decorative gardens. Even though the variety’s origins are not clear, most accounts agree that it is southern-Italian in origin and was first introduced by Italian seed company Fratelli Ingegnoli. Aubergines originated in Asia, being recorded first in the 6th century Chinese agricultural treatise Qímín Yàoshù. The plant was introduced to the Mediterranean region by Arabs in the Middle Ages. Aubergines have a somewhat unusual reputation in Italy – historically, it was thought that the whole plant could cause insanity. The name melanzana is derived from mela insana, meaning ‘insane apple’!

Common name Aubergine
Latin name Solanum melongena
Variety Slim Jim
Quantity 30 seeds
Plant size Height: 70 cm
Width: 45 cm
Container size Height: 30 cm
Width: 30 cm
Companion plant(s) Basil, peppers, okra, mints, thyme, catnip
Planting indoors Mar to Apr
Planting outdoors May to Jun
Germination 10 to 30 days
Harvesting 90 to 120 days
Planting 3 cm to 5 cm apart at 0.5 cm depth
Thinning 30 cm to 40 cm
Light Full sun
Soil Well-drained, fertile and moist
Watering Regular, moderate watering
Feeding Heavy feeding
Caring Aubergines are a bit slower to germinate than many other plants. They require a temperature between 25° and 30°C. When the young plant reaches 15 cm in height, cut the top off to encourage branch production and increase future fruit set.
Beneficial wildlife Although eggplants are self-pollinating plants, pollinators will increase fruit set.
Pests To prevent a whitefly attack, grow aubergines with a sacrificial trap crop such as bell pepper to divert pests away from the plant.
Harvesting Harvest Slim Jim aubergines when they are about 10cm long. Don’t leave mature fruits left on the plant as this will decrease further fruit production.
Eating Medicinal properties: Despite its historical reputation for causing insanity, aubergines are rich in nutrients and can be eaten freely!

How to eat: Even though fried aubergine is famous throughout the world as a key ingredient in parmigiana, the thin and firm Slim Jim variety lends itself to many culinary uses – try it pickled with garlic and oregano, roast it gently to make a delicious dip, or grill it and dress with olive oil and parsley.

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