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Brinjal: seed production

Aubergine seeds are only viable when harvested from fully ripe fruits , that is to say when they have actually started to rot and have taken on yellow or brown tinge. The task of extracting the seeds is very much more difficult than in the case of tomatoes or peppers. You can use either a dry method or a wet method. One dry method is to knock the very ripe fruits in order to dislodge the seeds from their place in the fruit. The aubergine is then opened up and the seeds picked out one by one. A second dry method which can only be used in very warm climates is to leave the fruits to dry in the sun and then to remove the seeds. One wet method consists in cutting the fruit up into small cubes, and to pass them through a food mixer with a little water, and at slow speed. The mixture is then tipped into a container and the viable seeds, those which fall to the bottom, can then be recovered. You then place them in a fine sieve to wash and finally place them on a screen to dry. You would be well advised to aid the drying process, for example by using a fan, because when the ambient temperature is high the aubergine seeds have a tendency readily to germinate. Aubergine seeds have an average viability of six years. They can, however, remain viable for up to ten years. One gramme contains approximately 200 seeds. The germination of these seeds, during the six months following harvest, is capricious ( even though in the immediate aftermath of harvest the damp seeds have this tendency readily to germinate). It is advisable therefore to place them in a refrigerator a few days before sowing in order to stimulate them.