Tuesday 14 June 2016

Pricking-out the PSB

You may recall that I sowed a load of Purple Sprouting Broccoli seeds back in mid-May (the 17th, to be precise). Well, most, but not all of them germinated and this week I judged that they had reached the stage where they needed pricking-out into separate pots.

I'm planning to grow only 3 or 4 PSB plants this year (I haven't finally decided!), but I sowed 6 seeds of each of 4 varieties, so despite less than 100% germination, I have plenty of seedlings to meet my requirements! Following my normal practice, I kept three times as many plants as I really need. This will ensure that even if there are some casualties I won't be left short.

If you are wondering why the pots are in those old washing-up bowls, it's simply to make them easier to more around.

I found that there was a big variation in the size and apparent strength of the four different types. Despite being sown on the same day, some were much bigger than others. The biggest ones are "Rudolph". 5 out of 6 seeds germinated.

The Mr.Fothergill's version of "Early Purple Sprouting" is much the same. All 6 seeds germinated, but one was very weak.

"Red Spear" is a lot smaller, and only 3 of 6 seeds germinated. To be fair, it was an old pack (Use by 2013!).

Least impressive of the bunch was the Marshalls version of "Early Purple Sprouting". Again, this was not a new pack, but it was only from last year so I would have expected a better result. Only 4 out of 6 germinated, and the seedlings do not look strong.

Well, anyway, I have a total of 12 plants from which to choose either 3 or 4, so I should be OK.

I will grow the plants on in these 6-inch posts for another few weeks, aiming to plant them in the raised bed currently occupied by the Broad Beans. Said beans are now covered with rapidly-swelling pods, so hopefully my plan will work out all right. Keeping PSB in small pots for too long can stunt their growth, so it's not recommended.

Broad Beans "Robin Hood"


  1. It's a rather good practice to always have a few more seedlings than you need, just in case. I have such a hard time getting rid of excess seedlings, however, that I rarely do that except with the longer maturing veg like tomatoes, peppers & onions. Every once in a while I do come up short, but it doesn't happen often enough (at this point) for me to change my ways.

  2. I always plant extra too and have to perform seedling murder. Breaks my plant loving heart every time! Ha. Has to be done though- can't keep them all in my small community garden plot.

    KK @ www.preppypinkcrocodile.com

  3. Always good to have some back up plants.

  4. You must have collected a few washing up bowls over the years! Glad you are enjoying your retirement, I do am finding I am so much more relaxed. I heard about the Diamondback moth on the way home from work today. I hope they wouldn't be visiting your garden. Sarah x


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