My love of Purple Sprouting Broccoli is well-known, so it won't surprise you to learn that I have planted some for next year's crop. This year (2017 - 2018) I had 4 plants and they produced a lot of broccoli. Jane is not particularly keen on this veg (certainly not as keen as me), and I find it hard to keep up with the harvest when I have so much, so this year I am going to grow only 3 plants.
Using seeds that I already had, I have grown some each of "Rudolph" and "Red Arrow". In my usual fashion I sowed 5 seeds of each (28th May) and after germination kept the 3 most promising ones, which were potted-up into individual 7cm pots as soon as they had made two proper leaves. After a month, they looked like this - ready for planting out:
I put the little plants in the bed recently vacated by my Broad Beans. The soil was very dry, so I watered it copiously before and after planting. In order to give the plants the best possible chance of thriving, I have protected them against the Cabbage Root Fly with the homemade cardboard collars I always use for my brassicas, and I have covered them with some scraps of Enviromesh supported on wire hoops, which will keep the butterflies off them.
The Enviromesh and hoops will only be useful for a couple of weeks, because I hope the plants will soon grow a lot bigger, but at least it will give me time to sort out something better and taller. My "garden hardware" is currently being shared between my own garden and the one up at Courtmoor Avenue and I haven't really got enough for both.
In other news... I picked my first cucumbers this week. These are "Marketmore" (foreground) and "Delikate B".
We ate the first cucumber in a salad, along with tomato and fresh Broad Beans (cooked and cooled), smothered in olive oil flavoured with dried Oregano. It was lovely!
Also, the chillis are coming on rapidly now. Although at one stage earlier in the year it seemed I might not have any harvest at all, the plants have recovered well and are forming lots of fruits. These ones are "Cayenne".