My "Brilliant" Brussels Sprout plants passed a significant milestone this week - I judged them big enough to require staking. Up till now they had been unsupported, but their foliage is getting to be quite luxuriant and in danger of making the plants top-heavy. In the seemingly incessantly windy conditions we are experiencing they could easily snap if not supported.
So I have now provided each of my four plants with a sturdy hardwood stake, and I have tied the plants to the stakes with a couple of turns of soft string:
As the plants grow taller I will add another couple of strings.
The addition of the stakes caused me to reconsider the use of the net which had previously been covering the Brussels Sprouts and the Tenderstem Broccoli. I decided to leave it off, since there have been very few butterflies around this year, so no caterpillars so far. The leaves on the brassicas are still perfect - no nibbles at all which is great, but unusual! Looking at my photo now reminds me that since the net has gone now I really out to remove the Build-a-Ball rods as well...
In the foreground of that photo above you can see the "Longor" Shallots, whose foliage has flopped over now, a sign that they are approaching maturity. Inspecting them closely I see that they are a bit of a mixed bag. Some of them are nicely sized, but others are tiny. I think the cold, dry conditions may not have suited them well.
The spare ones I planted in a couple of pots looks pretty much the same - not significantly smaller, considering they were the ones left over after I had chosen the best ones for my main crop.
I'm not going to harvest them just yet. I'll wait until the foliage is mostly brown before I do. And maybe the will grow a bit more too.