Thursday 29 November 2012

I do like a good stake!

Here in the UK we sometimes describe Autumn as "the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness" - but it's not always like that! It can also be (especially this year) a season of strong winds and abundant rainfall.

In the light of recent weather patterns I'm really glad that I took the trouble to put in some sturdy stakes to support my Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts:

Without this sort of support I'm fairly sure that my veggies would by now be horizontal.

As you can see in my next photo, I tie the plants to the stakes with soft string, not just in one place but in several places, in order to spread the strain. I also make sure not to tie them too tightly, allowing a bit of room for movement and  growth.

That photo also shows quite well the chicories that are growing underneath the big brassica plants, doesn't it?

In the next-door bed are my six Cavolo Nero plants. These are of course a lot smaller than the Broccoli, so I have only given them bamboo canes for support. These have the advantage of being slightly flexible, so they bend in the strong wind and don't snap. At the weekend I was out there adding another string for each plant, a bit further up their stems to cope with their continued upward growth.

In theory, the plants most likely to need support are these - Brussels Sprouts - because they are usually very top-heavy.

These ones of mine, on the other hand, are rapidly being overtaken by the PSB... They have lots of sprouts on their stalks, but they are growing sooooooo slowly. "Good things come to those who wait" they say. These had better be very good!  I like my steak stake Well Done, but in the circumstances I would settle for Medium Rare...


  1. They're not getting away in a hurry Mark. A good job well done.
    The cold weather's coming, these stakes might end up blue in a few days...

  2. I'm sure we'll see those sprouts adorning your Christmas dinner plates. I never realised how tall brassica plants could grow until I grew them myself, I think you're very wise to stake them in this weather.

  3. Every day I like your farm, I find it amaizing!

  4. I thought you'd turned vampire slayer. Must admit our brassicas have to fend for themselves as there are too many to stake.

  5. I don't tend to stake brassicas but it looks like I'll have to start as I plan to try brussel sprouts this year.


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