Monday, 4 June 2012

Brassica overload

Once I had planted out my brassicas last month I was left with a number of very healthy seedlings that I didn't want to just discard. This happens to me every year, because I always sow a lot more seeds than I need, simply so that I can cope with any casualties. The spares usually end up in a compost bin, but this year I decided to see if I could bring some of these plants to maturity in pots. I know this is not likely to produce perfect results because brassicas generally like deep firm soil - which they are not going to get in a pot - but anything will be better than nothing! Hopefully I will also be able to dispel the myth that says that you need acres of space in order to grow brassicas.

Potted Brassica line up in front of the Beetroot

I couldn't justify spending money on buying new pots, so I just used whatever I could find in my shed. I found two deep 10-inch pots, two shallower 10-inch pots, and five 7.5-inch pots. Into these went four "Matsuri" broccoli plants, four "Modrava" kohlrabi plants and one solitary "Golden Acre" cabbage. The Matsuri broccoli is a very small variety, so they will probably do OK, especially since I have put two of them in the taller pots.

Baby Broccoli "Matsuri"

"Matsuri"
 In all these photos you can see masses of fallen flower petals from the "Fish Tree". I'll be glad when they have all fallen because that will mean that my garden will no longer smell fishy.

Kohlrabi "Modrava"

The kohlrabi is already beginning to swell and make a "bulb". Let's hope these ones are more successful than the ones I grew last year which were almost a complete washout!

"Modrava"
You'll note that I have protected my plants from the Cabbage Root Fly, with proprietary brassica collars. These things discourage the adult female flies from laying their eggs in the soil near the plant stems.

Cabbage "Golden Acre"
Over the weekend I also sowed more brassica seeds: two types of Purple Sprouting Broccoli for next Spring ("Rudolph" and "Red Arrow"), and some "Nero di Toscana" Cavolo Nero.

13 comments:

  1. A colorful sight for Brassica lovers. Me included. Waiting to see the vegetables.

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  2. I hope your pot grown brassicas work, Does your tree attract cats?

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  3. They look like they are doing pretty well even in the pots. I will be interested to see if you get a decent harvest from them.

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  4. Beautiful. I so love brassicas.

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  5. Hope they grow well in the pots! It's worth trying it. I always hate to waste seedlings, I can hardly bare to discard them.

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  6. Good luck with your veggies in pots! They look good so far!

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  7. I reckon they'll do OK - I've grown brassicas in pots periodically and they've been fine. Admittedly the pots were a bit bigger but then they were full size things like cauliflower whereas yours are smaller to begin with.

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  8. All your plants are looking good. I particularly like the purple kohlrabi. The nursery guy near my house said I will only get nice round kohlrabi if I plant it in the ground with loose soil. So if your kohlrabi does well then that will be my cue to plant them in containers.

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  9. Great looking plants, look forward to seeing if it works, as I have just composted excess cabbages and sprouts..
    www.lorrainesvegpatch.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Lorraine; Thanks for becoming a Follower! I did try to leave a comment on your blog, but Blogger doesn't seem to want to allow this - so I expect my comment has ended up in your Spam folder.

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  10. I love an experiment! That kohlrabi is quite beautiful!

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  11. The brassica collars are intriguing. I have never seen them for sale here but I suppose I could make my own from landscape fabric. My brassicas are usually grown under floating row cover to ward off the cabbage moth, but it probably also works for the cabbage root fly. Most people here only notice the maggot damage in their turnips and radishes. Yuck.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Dave; Thanks for visiting! I tried to leave some comments about coir on your blog, but Blogger wouldn't let me... The gist of it was that after reading your article there is no way I would ever buy coir.

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