I haven't produced a harvesting chart for last year's brassica crop as basically, barring failures, what you get out is very much dependent on how much you plant. Instead I have categorised the plants as below.
To be fair the plants that underperformed were at a disadvantage as we held off planting as the ground was really dry - hard to believe now isn't it? This resulted in the plants being past their best when planted.Success with brassicas doesn't come easily on our plot. Some beds have club root which at one time we could control by dipping plant roots in a control solution which is now no longer available. Once club root is in soil it is more or less there to stay but there are some things you can do to increase your success.
Club root likes an acid soil so increasing alkalinity by adding lime helps.
We also grow all our brassicas on in pots or modules before planting out to give them a chance to develop a root system before coming under attack.
There is also an ever increasing number of club root resistant brassica varieties available and the ones that we have tried seem very good.
We have beds that don't seem to be affected and so any varieties without resistance are planted in those.
We are never really ready to start sowing seeds in time for the early brassicas and so we 'cheat' and buy a collection of young plants.
I have to admit being shocked the first time we received an order as the plants looked nothing like as strong and healthy as those we grow ourselves but after being given some tlc they do recover.
Once brassicas are planted on the plot we have to cover them. Whitefly are a real nuisance on broccoli plants and so these are protected under enviromesh.
Any brassica plants left unprotected at any time of the year attract the attention of the many resident wood pigeons which in a surprisingly short time can strip a cabbage down to just leaf stems. They also spoil any plants that survives by leaving a 'waste byproduct' on plants making them unappetising,
Caterpillars of the large and small white butterflies will also wreak havoc given half a chance. The large whites are more devastating as they 'hunt' in packs where the small white lays eggs well spread apart.
If you are in any doubt about how voracious caterpillars are then watch this video that we put together some time ago.
As double protection against wood pigeons and butterflies we use butterfly proof - well almost - netting. If there is a way to sneak under a resourceful butterfly will find it.
So what will we grow this year?
An early plant collection from Marshalls containing: calabrese - Marathon, Cabbage - Duncan and cauliflower - Mayflower. These have arrived and potted up in modules. Martyn posted about them here.
Club- root resistant varieties: Brussels sprouts - Crispus, red cabbage - Lodero, cauliflower - Clapton, cabbage - Kilaton, calabrese - Monclano
Others: sprouting broccoli - White Eye, cauliflower - Igloo