Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Cabbages and Chicory

This post is a progress update...

On 22nd September I showed you this photo of a dastardly green caterpillar attacking my cabbage seedlings, and it may at that point have seemed as if the plant in the picture was beyond redemption.

Seedling of cabbage "Tundra" under attack

However, I left the seedling in place and it has grown some new leaves.

A survivor?

This particular variety - "Tundra" - is supposedly very cold-tolerant, and though this seedling is not yet very well-advanced it may perhaps be able to to survive to maturity.

Some of the other Tundra seedlings are a bit further advanced.

One of the best Tundra cabbage plants

The bed in which I have got these cabbages growing also plays host to a number of Chicory plants. The ones in the next picture are "Rossa di Verona", but there are various others in there too, in less visible locations.

Young plants of "Rossa di Verona" chicory

Here's a closer view of one of the plants. It will get redder as the weather gets colder.

Another view of "Rossa di Verona"

If you haven't yet tried growing Chicories, and the closely-related Radicchios,  I strongly urge you to give them a try. They are not only very nice to eat, but also hugely decorative. They come in loads of different shapes, sizes and styles - probably as many as there are varieties of lettuce - and many of them are very cold-tolerant so you can grow them in the Autumn once your lettuces are over for the year. A good place to source your seeds is Seeds of Italy who sell items from the highly-respected Franchi range. One very attractive feature of the Franchi seeds is that each packet normally contains a lot more seeds than you would get in a British packet (at least 10 times as many!).

Some other types of Chicory

In amongst my Cabbages and Chicories I spotted another volunteer tomato seedling -- it looks like another "Wilma" one (the leaf pattern is fairly distinctive). I'm tempted to rescue it and see if I can grow it indoors during the Winter...

Another volunteer Tomato seedling (centre, small)

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