King of cabbages

by Jane Moore

I know I keep banging on about cabbages but they are just about the best crops I have grown this year...I've got cabbages coming out of my ears (strange thought!)

CabbageI know I keep banging on about cabbages but they are just about the best crops I have grown this year. The wet weather and cooler temperatures seem to have suited all the brassicas well and I've got cabbages coming out of my ears (strange thought!).

We've grown the classic round summer cabbage which is moth-eaten or rather caterpillar eaten after the attentions of the cabbage white butterfly babies. Looks terrible but tastes lovely - once you've fought your way through all the ragged outer leaves! All fuel for the compost heap I say.

But my fave cabbage this season - the cabbage I would crown king - has to be the savoy. Ours is one of the Franchi Sementi varieties, 'Cavola Verza', and it's a beauty. Big, bold and wonderfully wrinkly to look at, it also seems to be less attractive to those pesky caterpillars which makes it a winner all round. It's been easy to grow and germinated readily. And the flavour? Simply fab, perfect with gravy and roasties for those autumnal Sunday lunches.

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Gardeners' World Web User 05/10/2007 at 15:56

I sowed some perrenial seeds, delphiniums, foxgloves and hollyhocks. They have come up ok and are still small, sitting in individual pots on a shelf on my frost free balcony...(I live in london). When should I plant them out? thanks

Gardeners' World Web User 08/10/2007 at 12:11

I have been making compost successfully for a number of years , but this year when turning over one of my heaps, I have been disgusted to find dozens of large beige slugs! Are they doing the business of breaking down the compost or are they inhibiting the work of the worms? Should I be trying to get rid of them?

Gardeners' World Web User 08/10/2007 at 21:07

If I put a 4" layer over my dahlias with chipped bark, and the bed is up agaisnt house wall and in full sun, please could you tell me if you think they will survive the winter. thank you

Gardeners' World Web User 09/10/2007 at 09:13

I keep my brassicas covered as long as possible with enviromesh. When the cabbages have reached a good size or they get to big I uncover them. This year they have been caterpillar free but I'm not entirely sure it's just due to covers as there were pleanty of cabbage whites about & some inside the mesh, so predators must have helped. My favorite cabbage is January King but it's years since I got them to last stand till January & this year they have been ready for a month already & some have split. Timing is critical but I think the mesh will have brought them forward too.

Gardeners' World Web User 09/10/2007 at 18:37

Joyce, the slugs being in your compost heap mean they are not on your crops. They are fine in your heap and are helping with the decomposition. They won't worry your worms.

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