Monday 25 April 2016

Cabbages and Leeks

My Cabbages have all been planted now.

It's never going to be a massive crop - there are only 12 plants! However, with two each of six different varieties, the plan is that they mature in succession, providing a harvest over a long period. Two of them are a red variety called "Ruby Perfection", and (assuming they make it to maturity) they will probably end up being pickled.

As you can see, the individual plants are protected against Cabbage Root Fly by home-made cardboard collars, but the whole bed is also covered with netting to protect against birds and animals - specifically badgers. Surprisingly, my garden suffers very little damage from birds, even though Wood Pigeons are always present in abundance. I bribe them to stay away from the brassicas by putting out stale bread for them to eat.

In due course I am going to put three Brussels Sprout plants in the same bed as the Cabbages, in the centre, between the two rows. The Sprouts are still very tiny though and they must wait a while before transplanting.

Brussels Sprout "Napoleon"

Brussels Sprout "Bosworth"

Talking of being tiny, my "Toledo" Leeks are that too:

It will be a while before any of those are ready for transplanting! I also have some "Apollo" Leeks but for some reason they have developed very poorly indeed:

Both types of Leek were sown at the same time, in the same way, in the same compost, but "Apollo" has just not done much at all. Some of the seedlings never even straightened up.

My Reserves are these - a small batch of "Winter Giant", sown much later than the other two varieties.

My plan is to plant a few of each type of Leek, again so that they will hopefully develop at different rates, thereby extending the harvest period for me.


  1. I wonder if your Winter Giant leeks are the same as my Autumn Giant ones(seeing as our autumn is likely similar weather to your winter!) I just transplanted my leeks into the beds yesterday. They were not much larger than yours, when it comes to thickness anyhow, although they were pretty sturdy and straight and definitely better than those that I transplanted last year, which turned out ok, considering.

  2. Hi Mark, I am a newbie in vegetable gardening and trying to understand the theories behind growing from seeds. May I ask why can't the sprouts and leeks be transplanted to the gardening now? Why they have to be a little bigger to survive?

    1. Hi Kaman; I'm sure you will soon learn some good "tricks of the trade" of your own! Little plants are less able to stand the shock of being physically uprooted and moved to a new place, and they are less able to withstand the attacks of pests and adverse weather. It is normal to raise them somewhere more sheltered until they are a bit stronger. It's not the only way to do it though, and some people prefer to "direct sow" - in other words sow the seeds in the place where they will grow to maturity. I suggest you try both methods and see what works best for you.


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