Thursday 31 January 2013

Cavolo Nero - on its last legs

My Cavolo Nero's days are numbered.

We have had several "uses" of it this Winter, and I have been pleased with its performance, but after all our depredations the plants are looking very depleted! Each plant now has just a small tuft of little feathery leaves at its tip, and all the big leaves down below have been used.

When you examine the tops of the plants, you can see that some subtle changes have occurred. The tiniest leaves are much wider than before, in relation to their length, and they are now a more yellow colour. Also, little flower buds will soon begin to form at the leaf axils.

The flowering shoots of Cavolo Nero are certainly edible, and quite nice to eat, but in comparison with the leaves that have gone before, they are not so much of a delicacy, and they do tend to be a bit stringy. Besides, they are completely outclassed by the Purple Sprouting Broccoli growing right next door. I shall therefore be aiming to use up the last of the Cavolo Nero very soon. This will release the bed in which they are growing for the Broad Beans which I am planning to sow some time in February.

To conclude this post, I want to show you some more photos of this really attractive plant, which I find irresistibly photogenic. The next three photos are actually the same shot, progressively enlarged, using the editing suite This first one is the original photo, completely unaltered.

Does anyone else see Kermit the Frog?

It seems almost a shame to get rid of plants like this!


  1. Real frog - no. Glove puppet - yes

  2. you have been watching too much Attenborough Mark I shall be growing this this year instead of sprouts

  3. I think I have a few more pickings left before I pull up my plants.

  4. I love Cavolo Nero but I'm without it this year, I must do better. Kermit the Frog? No. Do please keep taking those tablets!

  5. A couple of the Cavolo Nero on my allotment have wilting after the cold snowy spell and the rest are now producing smaller florets like yours.
    Have still got some indate unopened seed for this year's sowing and will also grow some other kales including Red Ursa which should be another photogenic one.

    I must try out PicMonkey.From a quick look I see that it has some collage formats that were dropped by PhotoBucket at their 2012 upgrade which I used for my running club site header displays.

  6. If taken out of context and given a different perspective, your tall plants could be taken for exotic palms or their ilk.

  7. Do you know, I've never seen cavolo nero growing! I love the close up pictures, it looks like the surface of another planet!

  8. Good looking plants! and yes... It's not easy being green!

  9. Great close up shots Mark - my Cavolo Nero is in the same state as yours - on its last legs I think.

  10. Hey Mark! Love the blog and will follow : you are inspiring me to try veg gardening again this year... I think we have an interest in the textures of vegetables in common!! (crazy people..:))
    ...if interested see my blog post here called Have You 'tried 'Cabbage? !
    All the best,
    Alex (f)


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