2013 Brassicas (end of season notes)

Cold spring weather a problem for all early crop. Late crop started in garden and transplanted.
Broccoli: sprouting type was a bust, possibly weather stress. Late crop did better in potato bed
 – try heat tolerant variety next spring?
Brussels Sprouts: starting seedlings indoors produced more viable plants – plant further apart?
Cabbage: early green & red did well. Late green did well, red did not, savoy took a little too long.
Cauliflower: most early season produced tiny heads, a few heads produced normally & a few others took twice the time, late crop all produced well.
Romanesco Cauliflower: started indoors, plants produced tiny heads (like early broccoli & cauliflower) –give up or grow only late season

November Harvests: Brussels Sprouts and other Cold-Hardy Crops

If it's November, it's time to harvest the Brussels Sprouts. They're one of the slowest crops in the garden -- but worth the wait. They're exceptionally cold hardy. In fact, they were growing so vigorously in late October that the snow didn't even stick to them!


The last of the Scallions, Leeks, Collard Greens and Tatsoi were harvested this week. (Sadly, the Leeks never fully matured.) We're still picking small Broccoli florets (amazingly, from the seedlings we planted in April) and some of the sweetest Kale I've ever tasted. The Arugula and Broccoli Rabe also continue to produce. A few tiny Lettuce and Spinach seedlings remain, along with our marginal late-season Cabbages.  

Alan harvests Brussels sprouts

Mike, Melanie and Sophia prep the sprouts

Cut & come-again brocolli

We harvested our first brocolli on June 26, 66 days after planting the seedlings. We didn't cut too low on the stem, and left a few little sprouts below the cut. Two weeks later, on July 10, we had a second harvest almost as big as the first. Two harvests is about all you can get, and the brocolli was getting ready to bolt after the recent hot weather, so we pulled them and started a seedling nursery for the late-season crops.

Brocolli harvest

A giant bouquet of pulled brocolli leaves, headed for the compost bin.
                The new nursery.  


Brassica backers

I talked to quite a few parents and children over the two-and-a-half hours I was there today. I gave out veggie school cards, for which I noted quite a bit of interest.

People seemed especially impressed with the broccoli and cauliflower, and I even had some radish backers when I complained of our excess. What do we think of pickled radish?

Or pole beans? We've some extra seeds. I am thinking we could plant a few in a corner and put in a bamboo for it to climb to the sky.

When we pull the radishes, how about if we replace them with turnips? They grow fast and are very good when early.

Cabbage Patch Invaded

The cabbage patch has been invaded ... by tomatoes!  The spaces formerly occupied by the two culled seedlings were filled last Saturday by the tomato committee.  A couple other plants are doing poorly -- while some are doing very well.  What is the difference?  The cabbage family has a shallow root system, and so more vulnerable when transplanting (as ours were), and more sensitive to being underwatered.  The question is whether the early stunted growth can be overcome by warmer weather, rich sunlight, and good watering.

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