Saturday, 4 June 2011

Brassica update

In the Brassicas bed, the first flower-heads on the various types of broccoli are just beginning to form. This one is "Kaibroc".

If Kaibroc perfoms anything like its cousin "Tendergreen", (which I also grew last year), it won't be long now before I have a harvest. This year I have 3 types of broccoli-esque veg: Kaibroc, Tendergreen, and Brokali. At this stage they all look very similar. I'm glad I made a note of which is which!

Some of the cabbages are looking very promising, like this one of "Duncan". Not ready yet, but it's definitely forming a heart. The netting has certainly kept the butterflies out this year - no sign at present of any caterpillars.

Unfortunately not all of the cabbages are looking so good. One of the "Copenhagen Market" variety is looking very strange. It has thin, weedy looking leaves, unlike the others.

I looked up in some of my books to see if I could find what might be causing this. It could perhaps be a mild dose of the condition known as "Whiptail", caused by a deficiency of the mineral Molybdenum. The other cabbages look fine, so I don't think there is any remedy I can apply at this stage, though I have given them all a dose of general-purpose plant-food which may help.

The Kohlrabi "White Vienna" is looking a bit strange too. The stems are quite elongated - almost "straggly". If any bulbs are going to form, they are probably going to be a fair way above the roots, which is unusual. At this moment there is only just a slight thickening of the stem.

I'm wondering if maybe the plants have had insufficient light. I know I plant my brassicas much closer together than most people, but this doesn't normally give me any real problem. It usually just means smaller individual veg. This year I have had the plants under a net from the word Go, and the net is black, so I suppose it's possible that this has reduced the available light.

Brassicas in the middle bed. Summer broccoli at near end of the bed.

Here is the next batch of brassicas coming on...

Sprouting Broccoli (2 types) , Cavolo Nero, Kailaan
These ones have a long way to go still!


  1. We grow our brassicas under black net and it hasn't caused light problems. Could the strange cabbage be a rogue seed as it doesn't look like a cabbage does it?

  2. I love the netting I am on the lookout for some at our local op shops.
    My chooks do a great job of pest control but the vege patch is definitely off limits to my 22 hungry girls

  3. What a wonderful name - Molybdenum.

    The top two photos are wonderful pictures.


  4. Wow your beds look great! Next year I'll have to do what you do with your covers so the caterpillars stop attacking.

  5. Hi Mark, that is odd about those will be interesting to see how they fair. I am now using netting over my veggie boxes. Since I have done this, I've seen better results all around.

  6. Not sure what's caused that as I've not grown Kohl Rabi before. I should be harvesting calabrese, caulies and cabbages very soon I hope.

  7. This is my first year with a kitchen garden, so I went wild with the plants I love the most - peas and beans. Obviously this means that next year it might be good with some brassicas in those beds and then plant peas and beans in new beds, and I'm actually really looking forward to kale and cabbages and all sorts of wonderful greens that I forgot about this year.

  8. Your garden is so tidy and organise. I can never achieve that. Envy your broccoli. Miss them very much. I would give you one big bowl of chilies for a piece of broccoli. I have to wait for August to harvest broccoli if it save from caterpillars.

  9. Hi,
    I bonded instantly when I saw the cabbage plant. My plants too are having problems, more from cabbage loopers.:-)

    Do we need to tie the leaves for the ball had to develop? I was advised by someone.

  10. Hi gardenerat60; No, it's not necessary to tie the leaves of cabbages to assist with the formation of the heart. People sometimes tie cauliflowers, but that is really only to protect the "curds" from frost or too-strong sunlight.


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