I have planted out the Tenderstem broccoli seedlings that I showed you in yesterday's post. Tenderstem is for me the Summer equivalent of the Spring's Purple Sprouting Broccoli. As the name suggests, it is eaten more for its stems than for its flowers, though the young leaves are also nice - a bit like Spring Greens or Collards. I have planted six seedlings in the bed which already has the Shallots and Parsley in it, spacing them at intervals of roughly 35cm.
I planted the seedlings quite deeply, ensuring that the soil level was about where the cotyledons ("seed-leaves") had been. I pressed the soil down around the plants with my hands, since brassicas like firm soil conditions. I then watered them in and protected each one with a "Brassica collar" which will hopefully deter the Cabbage Root Fly from laying their eggs on the stems.
Then over each one I put a plastic bell-cloche.
These will protect the young plants from the weather for the next couple of weeks. In view of the frequent showers of rain and hail we have been having, I think the protection will be very welcome! As you can probably see, the whole bed is also covered with netting, aimed at dissuading the foxes and badgers from rooting around in it.
Tenderstem Broccoli grows very rapidly, and I hope to be harvesting from these plants in about 8 -10 weeks from now. If you want to regular supply throughout the Summer, it is recommended that you sow successionally, but I will probably grow only this batch, because I will want to plant Cavolo Nero in this bed later on.
BTW, note the still-empty Woodblocx raised bed in the background of the last photo. This is reserved for tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers - which of course can't be planted out until the weather warms up some more.