…….cabbages really – not a King to be seen anywhere.  Anyway the point of the title of this post is that I have been a little disgruntled recently, well in fact for about a month, about my cabbages at the allotment.

I planted out two beds of cabbages last Autumn.  One bed had January King in it and the other a cabbage called April which is a clue as to when it is ready for harvest.  However, I forgot what is was called and in my head it changed to a sort of pointed cabbage that I could harvest about now.  Anyway, the cabbages have been hard work as I haven’t wanted to use nets to protect them having had a very unpleasant experience with a dead grass snake last summer.  I have sprayed with garlic spray to deter the pests including rabbits and had picked caterpillars off them.  They got neglected over December as I didn’t really have time to visit the allotment and when I did get down there one of the January Kings had been really gnawed up.  So I sprayed around the plot again with a spray that was recommended to me for keeping off rabbits etc and I also sprayed the crops with the potent garlic spray. The January Kings seem to have ben rescued and look alright (see above)

I was really fed up as the April cabbages which had seemed to be forming heads before Christmas but in the New Year appeared to have been blown for want of a better word.  There was no firm centre and I was feeling very despondent and thinking of digging them up, using some of the leaves as winter greens and chucking the rest.  The only thing that stopped me was that I didn’t need another bed to clear given the amount of other work I have to do at the plot, so I left them.  I was so fed up that I even managed to make them invisible ignoring them completely and this was only brought home to me today when I was talking to one of my allotment friends and moaning about the cabbages.  We had a look and he said well they are heartening up and some of them seem to have more than one heart.  Well I was so surprised and to be honest excited.  You can see from the photo above how good they look.  I have even dug out the seed packet to find out what I planted and discovered that they probably won’t be ready for harvesting for another month so I am thinking of investing in some enviro-mesh to protect them from pigeons and other bugs.  I need to get some for the plot as I want to have another go at cauliflowers so it would be a good investment.

We also had a look at my Purple Sprouting Broccoli.  I have never grown this before so it has been a bit of a mystery to me as to when the shoot will appear for harvesting.  At the same time as I had been disheartened by my cabbages the PSB also looked sad and slightly eaten.  Again I sprayed with the garlic spray and also gave them a good feed of seaweed extract.  We looked at them today before we considered the cabbages and low and behold there are some sprouts.  They aren’t ready yet but I reckon give them another week and we will be there.  It is quite exciting.

The other success at the moment is the raddichio which just looks so pretty I am thinking of growing some in the flower borders at home.  Again, being a novice I have no idea when these will be ready for harvest and what I should look for.  I suppose I ought to read some books on the subject.

Anyway I came home today feeling more positive than I have for ages.  I even picked one of my January King cabbages which I will be having for dinner tonight, along with some leeks.  I have also sown mangetouts in pots ready to go out, a few broadbeans, some pak choi and some leeks.  I think next week I might sow some salad leaves in module trays ready to go out once the soil is a little warmer but if the weather continues as it is that won’t be long now. This year I am going to try very hard to label things much better and make a note of when they will be ready for harvesting!!