Saturday, January 19

Where there's brassicas ...

Where there are brassicas there has to be broccoili but for us unfortunately last year there was hardly any broccoli at all. We had no early broccoli thanks to the rubbish plants we were supplied with. Both Dobies and Marshalls supplied terrible plants. Dobies refunded our payment but Marshalls insisted that the plants would rally and were of the quality they would expect! They didn't rally and the result was hardly any winter/early spring brassicas. Then the summer broccoli plants that we had grown from seed didn't thrive in the poor conditions. Result was a broccoliless (my word) year.

This year we raised our own winter brassica plants and after last year's disappointment will continue to do so. Anyway moaning over and on to what we have ordered in the broccoli line. I'm including calabrese here too. There's nothing out of the ordinary in the broccoli list - White Sprouting Early and Early Purple. 

The photo below is just about all we got from last year's plants and we shared it.
We've chosen two varieties of calabrese (green sprouting broccoli) - Green Magic and Marathon. We have grown both varieties for several years.

We grow a variety of cabbages, autumn, winter, spring, summer, red, green, crinkly and smooth. All the varieties that we have chosen this year, we have grown for several years. These are Kilaton (autumn which is club root resistant), Huzaro (red), Hispi (spring), Candissa (summer). tundra (winter) and January King (winter).
We have chosen two varieties of cauliflower one of which is a gamble. We planted Aalsmeer last year as an early variety so as yet it hasn't cropped but as the plants look to have grown well we are risking growing it again next year. The other variety is a club root resistant variety called Clapton. We've grown this for a couple of years and it has produce a good crop.
Growing club root resistant varieties of brassicas has certainly improved our success rate. After having grown sprouts successfully for several years suddenly the process seemed to be beyond us. We planted healthy plants started in pots in the greenhouse but once planted out they just failed to thrive and ended up as stunted sorry looking individuals, All that changed when we found a club root resistant variety Crispus. Last year as a test we sowed some free seeds and the results were fairly conclusive. Grown side by side Crispus grew well and produced a crop - the other variety just went backwards. I posted about this earlier here.
That nicely brings us to our choice of swede. These went is a bit too late so we're not expecting a harvest. For sowing this year we have chosen a new club root resistant variety called Gowrie from Plants of Distinction. Below is this year's effort.
Finally we have a free packet of seeds called Purple Top Milan which we will sow.

Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments http://glallotments.blogspot.co.uk/ author S Garrett

19 comments:

  1. This early purple broccoli looks stunning! Such a vibrant color! I like it very much. Do you grow a kohlrabi? It's very popular in Poland, I'm going to sow a purple kohlrabi this year ( http://www.epnos.pl/okno.php?d=of_nas_warz&id_gatunek=67&id_odmiana=152&nr_kat=NAS00881 )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a pity that purple broccoli goes green when it is cooked, Dewberry, We have grown kohlrabi in the past but not for a long time.

      Delete
    2. I didn't know about the broccoli, that's a pity indeed. It's the same as with the purple runner beans, they also go green. Even so, it's worth growing purple broccoli just to look at it, it looks really cool.

      Delete
  2. For me, a year without PSB hardly bears thinking about. I have never bought veg plants. I always grow mine from seed, and having heard about your experience I think I will continue to do so.
    I like the name "Aalsmeer" - it means "Eel's Lake" doesn't it? Lets hope it's not prone to Eelworm!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let's hope not indeed, Mark - it produced well this year!

      Delete
  3. I sometimes wonder whether brassicas are worth the effort.
    They appear to take up too much space and attract various nasties.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's down to how much space you have and what you enjoy eating, Peter. I think broccoli is the most worthwhile as you can rarely buy it as fresh as it needs to be.

      Delete
  4. I never had any luck growing brassica from nursery. All we must sow by our own. Oh broccoliless for us this year but hope not will try to see whether we have any proper heads! But this will only be tested by mid-year when the monsoon is much nearer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We won't be buying plants again, Diana

      Delete
  5. I'm reading everyone's posts about purple sprouting broccoli with envy, none for me this year, but I hope to rectify that next year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No need to be envious of us yet, Jo we haven't cropped any yet.

      Delete
  6. Couldn't do without brassicas - especially at the back end of the year - and the early spring - when everything else has been shut down. I try to do two seed sowing sessions (earlies and lates) each year but somehow never got around to the second one this year so no kale, swede, PSB or spring cabbage this year. Woe is me!

    The great news for the forgetful is that brassica seeds last longer than any other sort of seed so if you forget to sow them you can keep onto them and sow them the next year... or the year after! As a result I have a handsome collection of seeds for 2013. Checking them I discover (to my surprise) that I have Cauliflower Aalsmeer in preference to Clapton, probably because I already have All The Year Round. I'm trying Hispi cabbage, also for the first time this year. Is it really as reliable as they say? As for swedes, there are many Scottish named varieties (aside from the usual Marian). I'll be growing Melfort and Tweed this year. Kale is another must for us: Hungry Gap and Cavelo Nero plus Real Seeds Sutherland. We also habitually grow January King, Tundra and brussell Early Half Tall. The brassica net is going to be bulging this year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We've grown Hispi in the past Mal and it has performed reliably

      Delete
  7. Hmm, seeing all those lovely brassicas makes me think we should do a bit more on our plots. This year we are going to do some early cabbage as home-grown coleslaw is THE BEST!
    Broccolli mmm... it really does look good!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We make our own coleslaw too Belinda and variations depending on what we have available

      Delete
  8. I absolutely love brassica's! Cabbage, brussels, broccoli, swede etc are a regular in our house, not to mention cauliflowers. What would us gardeners do without the wonderful brassica.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Interesting about the 'rubbish plants'. I received some rubbish seeds from Dobies too. Last year Adam decided he wanted to order a load and as a result (yes of course I blame him too ;) we ended up with no peas. How can peas just not grow? They were Dobies seeds. I'll never buy from them again. Your crops do looks excellent. The Cauili's are superb!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Must admit though Anna our peas were poor germinators last year and we bought ours elsewhere

      Delete

Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment - it is great to hear from you and know that there are people out there actually reading what I write! Come back soon.
(By the way any comments just to promote a commercial site, or any comments not directly linked to the theme of my blog, will be deleted)
I am getting quite a lot of spam. It isnot published and is just deleted. I have stopped sifting through it and just delete any that ends up in my spam folder in one go so I am sorry if one of your messages is deleted accidentally.
Comments to posts over five days old are all moderated.