The description of looking as though she has been pulled through a hedge backwards could have been applied to me yesterday. It would also have been a fairly literal comment to make although a hedge wasn't the cause of my new casual look - no I haven't a photo!
The brassica bed had worked it's way up to the top of the list of areas to be weeded. The problem was that there seemed to be quite a few large white butterfies fluttering around no doubt making the most of the brief spell of warm sunny weather. They looked intent on seeking out prospective nurseries for their young. Our brassicas relieved of their protective netting would have been prime targets. After protecting the young plants from pigeons and butterflies alike since planting them out I wasn't going to offer them up to the butterflies now and so there was only one thing for it - lift up the edge of the netting and crawl as far under it as possible! Hence the look - it was more having dragged myself backwards from under netting.
The ground in which the brassicasa were planted besides being covered in weeds - mainly chickweed - was rock hard. This time not baked by sunshine but rather, no doubt, as a result of being battered by heavy rain. As brassicas enjoy firm ground I hope they will be OK but it was just about impossible to pull out the weeds by the roots. I had to compromise and just pull as much top growth out as possible - even then I managed to pull back my nails almost to the nailbed. Hope they re-attach themselves soon. Don't we suffer in the name of gardening?
In the brassica bed that received attention we have green - Kilaton - and red - Huzaro - cabbage ...
... cauliflowers - Clapton...
... and sprouts. Some good ones - Crispus ...
... and some bad ones - Evesham Special.
The sprouts were planted at the same time side by side so what is it that has meant one lot is fine and the other lot is in no way fine?
The Evesham Special seeds were freebies but Crispus, our chosen variety is club-root resistant. Due to club-root we have had trouble growing sprouts in the past and last year found and decided to try Crispus. This variety provided us with a successful crop in spite of the dry conditions. As they were free, we planted some Evesham Special as an experiment really to see how Crispus compared and the results have confirmed that we need to stick to club-root resistant brassicas wherever possible - especially sprouts and cauliflowers that seem to suffer the effects of club-root most.
In my weeding frenzy, I accidentally pulled up one of the Evesham Special plants and the roots were stunted.
The chickweed carpet had provided a safe haven for slugs so the brassicas had come under attack from those too - it's one pest that the netting doesn't keep out. I'm afraid I had to resort to a light sprinkling of slug pellets but not before I moved a tiny newt into a safer slug pellet free place.