Growing brassicas

by Jane Moore

I've been madly planting brassicas as if they're going out of fashion. Perhaps Brussels sprouts have never actually been in fashion - but they are with me.

Brussels sproutsI've been madly planting brassicas as if they're going out of fashion. Perhaps Brussels sprouts have never actually been in fashion - but they are with me. I greatly missed harvesting my own sprouts for Christmas lunch.

This year, to make sure I don't suffer the same fate, I seem to have gone overboard sowing brassicas in modules. I think we'll be in for a feast (rather than the famine of last year) as every seed seems to have germinated. I started them off under my watchful eye as they're so prone to slug damage when sown directly into the ground. So now, I have a huge number of brassicas to transplant: purple sprouting broccoli, two varieties of kale, Brussels sprouts, calabrese and Romanesco broccoli (which is, strictly speaking, a cauliflower of sorts).

As for cabbages, I've got pointed ones, round ones, red ones and savoy types, not to mention a few that Ron-next-door has given me. I think these should see me through the winter ahead. As long as I can keep them safe from the attentions of the cabbage white butterfly caterpillars , cabbage root fly, pigeons, slugs and snails. Maybe it's just as well I've got so many.

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Gardeners' World Web User 01/01/2008 at 00:00

Gardeners' World Web User 28/06/2008 at 08:30

No so much a comment more a plea for advice, started gowing fruit and veg last year, in a medium size plot at the far end of the garden, all went well but almost everything was eaten by squirels, and or birds, this year we have invested in a fruit cage to cover the whole plot , and althought the birds have been kept out the squirels have chewed through the netting and the foxes have dug under, eating all the soft fruit before it is ripe,leaving very little to pick. Help any tips or suggestions for keeping them out.

Gardeners' World Web User 01/07/2008 at 13:41

I am growing broccoli, peas, sprouts, carrots & lettuce - they are all in pots of varying sizes and so far they are all healthy with not a slug in sight - though I have put copper tape round the pots to deter them.

Gardeners' World Web User 01/07/2008 at 21:08

Heligan Gardens Cornwall would be proud of you as they believe breaking the roots of brassicas harmful. However I am a traditionalist and sow in a seedbed and transplant. Trafalgar is my star variety for Xmas and this year I am growing Rubine which is red in colour so means even more antioxidants.

Gardeners' World Web User 02/07/2008 at 06:34

I am growing three varieties of tomatoes in a large pot outside, one beef tomato variety, one Moneymaker and one Gardner's choice. They are growing happily and all setting flowers except Moneymaker which is growing well but smaller than the other two. I would like some advice on how to look after these and what crop (if any) can I expect. It is a kind of experiment. Many thanks - New gardener.

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