Wednesday 1 May 2013

Transplanting Broccoli seedlings

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.


  1. It doesn't take long to get the plants to maturity then, unlike it's spring cousin.

  2. I've never been able to get those brassica collars to work. The cabbage maggots still take them down. It is one of the reasons I use row covers. I really need some of your rain. I had to resort to watering. In spring now less! I never have to water in spring.

  3. Rain and hail, Mark? I thought the country was having a heatwave - that's certainly been the story in London! Anyway, I love the look of your little bell cloches, my poor brassicas will just get juice bottles with the bottoms cut off, not posh cloche at all! You've reminded me that I bought some brassica collars a while back, I must think where I left them. Your garden looks wonderfully tidy, I'm impressed!

  4. Looks like you have been busy,Tenderstem broccoli sounds interesting

  5. I think I have sown something similar, I shall have to check. I have two types of broccoli for the summer this year & hope to get them outside in the next couple of weeks.

  6. And protect them from dastardly pigeons!

  7. Aww bless - they look so tiny and vulnerable - I tend to plant out when the seedlings have five true leaves. Oh and Mark bell cloche no. 3 is slightly out of alignment, see to it will you. lol.

    1. Yes, Ma'am! Noted. I will put Cloche No 3 on the Defaulters List, and assign it some extra Drill!

  8. It won't get too warm under the cloches?


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