Of Cabbages and well…..

…….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!!



11 Comments Add yours

  1. How very exciting…warm today and as I surmised the garden is taking off…lots of new growth everywhere and more crocus. With the warm up this week I expect to get early greens started in the veg garden…at least the snow peas.

  2. Libby says:

    What beautiful cabbages. I always want to grow them because they’re pretty but then have to remind myself I don’t particularly like cabbage. My PSB isn’t ready yet. I wish it would hurry up. I bought it from a village plant sale and have no idea if it’s early PSB… or late, or whenever.

  3. Cabbages are beautiful plants!
    Personally my brassicas of this year will be kohlrabi, curly kale and radishes. I have no idea how to cook the kale or the kohlrabi, but they’re just such pretty plants – and the kale can look almost exotic when it’s bright green against the drab colours of winter.

  4. Dear Helen, Your cabbages look magnificent! Well done! Like Donna, I’m hoping to get some early greens started this week. Isn’t spring wonderful? P. x

  5. The raddichio might look nice in a border but I think I’d be bothered if it landed on my plate. It looks bloody and gruesome!

  6. P.S. The others look nice!

  7. That raddichio is gorgeous! I would love that in a border. Thanks for the great idea!

  8. Lea says:

    I have never grown cabbages or broccoli, but yours look so good, I might give them a try!
    Happy Monday!
    Lea’s Menagerie

  9. Patty says:

    I am glad your veg garden is so successful. The radicchio looks good enough to eat!

  10. hillwards says:

    Lovely harvests for this quiet part of the year, glad that all was far from lost.

  11. amoogk says:

    They look fabulous. We’re going to do a summer cabbage and winter cabbage, just to spread out the cabbage consumption.
    Kale is a fabulous winter green. I cook it by steaming it lightly and melting butter on it. Delish!

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