I sowed my PSB seeds in 6" pots on 1st June. This last weekend I judged that they were big enough to go into individual pots. I don't have room to plant them out just yet, so I need to grow them on in pots for at least another month, until the Broad Beans are finished. I will only require a total of six PSB plants because they get very big, but as usual I will ensure that I have plenty of spares. Discarding the weakest seedlings, I have ended up with nine plants in individual pots and four more repotted back into the original seed pots (just in case...).
Yes, I know there are more than 9 pots in the photo, but I also did the Cavolo Nero at the same time, and I ended up with nine of those too.
The pots with the white labels are the PSB, and the ones without are the Cavolo Nero. Cavolo Nero has such distinctive leaves that it is easy to recognise even from an early age:
|Cavolo Nero "Black Tuscany"|
|PSB "Red Arrow"|
The pots I have used for these seedlings are 5" in diameter. They will be fine for these plants for about 3 or 4 weeks. After that I will either plant out the PSB (if space is available) or transfer them to bigger pots.
Last year I had major problems with Cabbage Root Fly, so this year I have taken the precaution of buying some Nemasys Grow Your Own nematodes, which I will apply to not only the beds in which the brassicas will be grown but also the little pots containing the seedlings. This treatment worked well for the beans this year - not root fly problems at all, and 100% success with the Runners - so I think it is probably worth repeating.
"Once bitten, always shy" they say, so I'm not taking any chances. I have sowed another batch of PSB seeds, as an "insurance policy", just in case the first lot succumb like they did last year. This is an approach I often adopt. After all, it only involves a few seeds, a pot or two and a small quantity of compost - and some forethought.
Meanwhile, my "Matsuri" mini broccoli is engaged in a race against time: I put four plants into pots, since I didn't have space in any of the raised beds, but their roots have obviously been attacked by something (probably the darned Cabbage Root Fly) and they are slowly dying off. You can see in this next photo that the outer leaves are floppy, dull and yellowing, whilst the inner leaves are still OK.
In the centre of each plant a tiny little flower-head has formed, so I may yet get a crop from these plants. If only they can hold out for maybe another 10 days!