Saturday 26 March 2011

How big are your Brassicas?

They say that "size doesn't matter", and I know that seedlings always start off very small, but looking at my Oriental Brassicas I am all too conscious that they have a long way to go yet!

Inspired by my blogging friend Takaeko, from Japan, and other bloggers from the Far East, I have sown seeds for three different types of oriental brassica. I don't need to tell you what varieties they are, you can see for yourself on the labels!

Notice the fine example of "Re-purposing" or whatever you want to call it, in the fact that these seedlings are being raised in an old washing-up bowl. Actually it is a perfect container for this task - much deeper than a normal seed-tray, and much sturdier too. I drilled a few holes in the bottom to provide drainage.

These oriental brassicas grow pretty rapidly. This shot is of the same ones taken only 4 days later:

Has anyone out there in the UK grown this type of brassica before? I'm keen to hear from you if you have. Is it worth me growing them on to maturity, or are they better as baby leaf salad ingredients? Are they nice in any style of cooking other than a stir-fry? What do our UK slugs and snails think of them? I have tried a couple of times to grow Chinese Cabbage (the type the supermarkets call "Chinese Leaves"), but the slugs absolutely destroyed them.

My other brassicas are looking good too. I have had them outside in the mini-greenhouses for the last couple of weeks, so they have perhaps been a bit colder than they would like, but at least they have had plenty of light. Today I started thinning them - removing the weakest of the seedlings. I will do this progressively, aiming to end up with about six of each.

The two pots at bottom right of the picture have red varieties in them - Marner Langerrot and Kalibos. Notice how few of them have come up, compared with the green varieties. They also seem to grow much slower. Still, this is probably for the best, because I won't have room for more than about two of each variety, and it would be good if they would mature after the green ones have finished.


  1. Pretty! Since they grow very quickly, you'll be enjoying large plants in no time. I love how cute they all look!

  2. My brassicas were just eaten the other day by my naughty chickens. :( I thought the flimsy fence I'd constructed would keep them out but they're becoming more adventurous.

  3. Ooo yours are big :) And you told me the size of my banana didn't matter Mark... and yet here you are, comparing...

    I very enthusiastically have sown a few hundred seeds of cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli, but for once I have not gone exotic, all of mine are quite mundane varieties. Yours look much more interesting, and I'll be really interested to see how they turn out.

    It will also be interesting to see how quickly ours mature in our respective sides of the world, as mine look to be at pretty much the same stage of seedling-ness as yours. A Brisbane winter and a Fleet summer, what do you think they'll prefer?

  4. Mark mine are TINY on my windowsill still because the ones planted outside all got EATEN! Booooooo...

  5. Your brassicas look well-grown!
    The growth of your brassicas shows they get a plenty of sunlight and water in warm temperature. I believe the environment on your brassicas are perfect!
    I recommend you pay attention to how to thin them out for growing bigger brassicas. If you find some smaller ones among them, they should be thinned out. Good luck!

  6. Interesting varieties. The little plants start slow but have growing spurts. I haven't even sown many of my veg seeds yet so you're ahead of the game. Was thinking you could pot on some of your plants you don't want and make some money to sustain your plot at a car boot sale, ever thought of doing that?

  7. I have better success growing asian brassicas in container rather than soil to avoid snail and slugs. You don't even need deep container to grow them which is perfect and easy to move around places which is bright that snail dislike.I like to grow brassicas with containers that have just been previously grown with allium, not many pest want to get near to those containers, I guess allium smell still linger after they are gone. Don't need to thin them too much leave several close as you might want to worry about caterpillar.


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