My Purple Sprouting Broccoli plants are getting quite big now, and beginning to be top-heavy. In the gale-force wind we had last weekend they were swaying to and fro like crazy, so I decided they needed to be staked before they came to any harm. I also decided that since my "Winterbor" Kale was not going to get used, it might as well go, so I have pulled up the plants and disposed of them. The PSB will be glad of this because it will allow them to get more light.
I have given each PSB plant a sturdy 4-foot hardwood stake, which I hammered well into the soil with a heavy hammer to make sure they are secure. I tied the plants very loosely to the stakes, using several turns of soft string. The idea is to provide stability in strong winds without restricting the plants' growth.
Since I had the netting rolled back to facilitate the putting-in of the stakes, I took the opportunity to weed the bed and to give the PSB a dose of general-purpose plant food (liquid Growmore in this case).
As soon as I had finished the job the netting went back on, because there are still quite a few white butterflies around - though all the other varieties are conspicuous by their absence. I noticed a few Whitefly lurking under the leaves of the PSB, so sometime soon I will need to spray them with washing-up liquid like I did with the Brussels Sprouts the other day.
In my photos you can see the Leeks along the edges of the PSB bed. I don't know whether they will be any good - they may perhaps be too shaded - but it's always worth a try, to maximise the yield from a small space. The ones between the rows of Parsnips have been completely swamped, and I don't expect them to be worth having.
Incidentally, I didn't need to use any of the spare PSB plants that I raised. Most of them were eventually given away to a friend and the last remaining one went in the compost bin last Sunday. My "insurance" paid off.
That's so funny you should mention the lack of butterflies - I was just thinking the other day how I am constantly seeing cabbage whites, but I've seen very few of any other type this year. Too bad it's not the other way around.ReplyDelete
This year we are using enviromesh to protect brassicas from whitefly. Soon everything will need to be grown under cover.ReplyDelete
I'm interested in your cage system Mark; can I ask where did the rods come from? I'll need a system like this at the allotment. My PSB is relatively safe here in the veg patch garden as a neighbour grows copious amounts of walking stick cabbages so the pests go there and tend to leave my stuff alone!ReplyDelete
Caro, the rods and connectors come from a firm called Gardening Naturally. I am a great fan of them because you can buy them in lots of different lengths, and you can buy them individually if you want - and the price is fair too. More info here -- http://www.gardening-naturally.com/acatalog/Garden_Hoops_and_Cages.htmlDelete