Thinking back to my recent post about brassicas. I pulled up a couple more of the poorly sprout plants which confirmed my suspicions (not that I had any doubt) that clubroot was the cause of the sickly looking symptoms.
It's not very pretty is it? Sprouts are hungry feeders and also need plenty of water so it is hardly surprising that when the roots are so badly affected the plants just give up. We do give them a foliar feed but that won't compensate.
Anyway the freebie seeds have confirmed that from now on any sprouts, or cauliflowers for that matter, that we buy will be clubroot resistant varieties.
Moving on to our winter brassicas - we are trying another experiment based on the potential success of this year's carrot experiment.
Last year our carrots were smothered by weeds and we had a crop failure - our fault - we should have weeded more but when crops are being protected under environmesh or netting the temptation is to leave the protection in place. This year you may remember that we covered the carrot bed with weed control fabric. Well if the roots of the carrots are as good as the tops are, we have a success story.
So now we have decided to try covering our winter brassica bed with weed control fabric too. Martyn posted about this on his blog last week.
If nothing else, this will spare our plot neighbours the sight on me scrambling under netting trying to keep the weeds down. It did take longer to plant out the brassicas as we had to cut slits in the fabric to plant through. As the fabric is fairly expensive we are hoping we can reuse it but I am a bit concerned by how much it frayed when cutting. I came up with an idea for a new type of weed control fabric with holes ready cut at the appropriate distance apart with sealed edges. Martyn wasn't too impressed as he reckoned if they developed such a product it would be very expensive! If you ever see such a product on the market - remember you first heard about it here!