Tuesday 9 September 2014

Winter Veg progress report

This year I am making a bigger effort than normal to have some vegetables available during the cold months. Look at this for a Brassica line-up:

That is two of my raised beds full of brassicas, securely netted against the white butterflies. In the nearer one are six Brussels Sprouts, and in the further one are six Purple Sprouting Broccoli. the Brussels Sprouts are two plants each of "Brilliant" "Napoleon" and "Bosworth", so I should have a successional crop. The first ones ("Brilliant") are nearing maturity already. I reckon I will be able to start picking at the end of September.

Brussels Sprout "Brilliant"
 The netting has been a godsend. I have seen lots of white butterflies in the garden, but they have not managed to penetrate my defences! They will still lay eggs on any leaves that touch the netting, but I am aware of this, and from time to time rub off any eggs I spot. I have fed my plants a couple of times with liquid Growmore general-purpose fertiliser, and they are looking strong and healthy. I am expecting a good crop.

I have applied the same approach to the PSB, though of course they will not produce a crop until next Spring. Five of the plants are looking big and healthy, and even the one which nearly died (after a Cabbage Root Fly attack) is catching up rapidly. In my photo it is the one nearest the camera.

Purple Sprouting Broccoli

I have already harvested a few Cabbages (I hadn't expected "Predzvest" to be ready so soon!), but I still have three of ""Tundra", of which this is the biggest.

Cabbage "Tundra"
 As you can see, it is forming a nice tight heart. Note also the anti-butterfly netting. The outer leaves of the cabbage are a bit ragged, because some caterpillars appeared before the netting was erected.

This is my patch of Leeks. Some of you may have seen me posting about having harvested my first Leeks, last week. I was very pleased with them. So pleased in fact that I have filled the spaces from which they were extracted with new seedlings - some of those I had been growing for "Baby Leeks" - which will now get an unexpected chance to grow to full maturity.

Leeks "Toledo"
My Salads bed has now moved on from Lettuces to mainly Endives and Radicchio, which should mature over the Autumn. I'm planning to write about the Radicchio separately, so here is just a representative photo. It is "Variegato di Castelfranco"


  1. What can I say? Simply, wonderful!

  2. It's all looking fabulous. You'll be eating well over winter.

  3. My mum always said not to pick Brussel Sprouts until the frost have got to them, the frost improves the taste. I hate them so don't know if it's true.

  4. Lovely fall garden. I wish I could get the Brussels sprouts to grow, but I never have. The closest I've gotten are pea sized ones. Some year I'll succeed I'm sure. But to do that I'd have to try again and I haven't allocated space for them in a while.

  5. Your brassicas really are thriving and looking great. It's been a long time since my last failed attempt at growing brussels sprouts, aphids have always been a huge problem getting into the sprouts and ruining them. These days I go to the local farmstand and buy an entire stalk of them for just a few dollars, it's so much easier than dealing with the aphids.

  6. We love our brassicas! and your Brussels sprouts are far ahead of ours, but we're still hopeful.

  7. Looks great Mark your Brussels look at a similar stage to mine. I'm also growing Toledo and am very pleased with them.


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