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Overpowering brassicas


 
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Ciotog
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 21 Dec 2008
Posts: 11
Location: Clare

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 8:07 pm    Post subject: Overpowering brassicas Reply with quote

Can anyone help me with a brassica problem? Any brassicas I grow are too strong to eat. Cabbages are too cabbagy and the same goes for turnips and all the rest.
My soil is very limey but I have improved it with compost, seaweed etc.
I've just tried some broccoli (Nine Star Perennial) and some young shoots of kale but the taste was overpowering and the house smelled vile all day.
Is there any way of toning down the taste?
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Belfast
Rank attained: Sessile Oak Tree
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Joined: 23 Apr 2009
Posts: 296
Location: CSA

PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you tried
Pak choi
http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/content/knowhow/glossary/pak-choy/



"The Main Ingredient: Cool toward cabbage?; Napa variety's subtle flavor may change your mind
YOU'RE not a big fan of cabbage - the standard green or purple kind. It's just too strong, you say.

Savoy, the crinkly green Italian version, is a little better, but the smell of simmering savoy still makes you crinkle up your nose.

Ever try napa - the Chinese cabbage?"
the rest of the article is here
http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-14750909.html
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Ciotog
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Joined: 21 Dec 2008
Posts: 11
Location: Clare

PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Hazel, that's a good idea. I'll give it a try - if I can get the seed this late in the year.
I've made a special brassica bed, covered with net, for one last try at growing edible brassicas.
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Sean Ph'lib
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Joined: 11 Dec 2008
Posts: 200
Location: Co Kerry

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What are you using to grow them? Certain types of artificial fertilizers can give brassicas a vile smell and taste. I find, growing mine with nothing but garden compost, that they all taste delicious!
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Ciotog
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Joined: 21 Dec 2008
Posts: 11
Location: Clare

PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,
Mostly garden soil which has been improved with various amounts of home-grown compost, bag compost, seaweed etc over the years. Its neutral, according to an acid test, I carried out, but the basic or original soil is very limey. I haven't used any liquid or chemical fertiliser.
My local garden centre didn't have any Chinese cabbage to try but I'll keep looking. I'm also trying mini-cauli and mini-cabbage to see if that will help.
I grow all the other major families of veg and don't really miss the brassicas but I feel a bit inadequate as a gardener if I can't grow a decent cabbage.
Thanks for in-put.
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Liparis
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
Posts: 651
Location: Co. Meath

PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I may be off the wall here, but perhaps the real "problem" is that you're used to cooking and eating the flavour-less brassicas from supermarkets? A good home grown cabbage should taste a lot stronger than a bought one, also smell stronger than a bought one. Same with broccoli and Caulis. You will get used to the smell and taste after time and enjoy a completely new taste on your tongue. That's why we used to have the age old problem of kids not eating their greens! My kids would gobble bought sprouts if given them in someone elses house, but turn their nose up at fresh out the garden stuff. The oldest daughter now loves my sprouts once she got used to the real taste.
As I say, perhaps I'm off the wall with this, but maybe your palate and nasal passages need re-educating.
Bill.

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Belfast
Rank attained: Sessile Oak Tree
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Location: CSA

PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

try growing from seed. They are easy to grow from seed.
Pak Choy : Collection
Three unique hybrid Pak Choys to highlight salads or stir fries. Collection comprises one packet each of:
Pak Choy Purple F1 - An eye catching reddish-purple top leaf contrasts with the green undersides and the bright green stems.
Pak Choy Green F1 - Produces vibrant apple green stems.
Pak Choy White F1 - Produces pure white, juicy stems.
Ready to harvest in 30 days from sowing as 'baby leaf' or 45-70 days as semi-mature to full size heads. Earlier and later sowings for 'baby leaf' can be made under cloches or fleece.
http://www.thompson-morgan.com/seeds1/product/4633/1.html
or
Pak Choi Tri-coloured Mix F1 Hybrid
http://www.thompson-morgan.com/seeds1/product/270/1.html
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Ciotog
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Joined: 21 Dec 2008
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Location: Clare

PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for advice. I will try the Chinese veg and I don't think it is my taste, Liparis, as I've been growing and eating home-grown veg for many years - in Dublin, Wicklow and now Clare.
I'm coming to the conclusion that the problem lies in the soil. My garden, which is about 10 years old was 'farmed' using heavy chemical inputs. I saw the farmer spraying the land on one occasion with some very toxic substance which had an effect like teargas (I imagine) as I had to run for my car and get out of there. Thankfully, that kind of farming has died out, in this part of the country anyway.
I may try a raised bed using only bought-in compost bags and see if this will do the trick.
Much obliged to all for informative and helpful advice.
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Belfast
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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have heard of people planting tobacco to remove toxins for the soil before growing food.
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Liparis
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
Posts: 651
Location: Co. Meath

PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to hear your garden is such a mess. You may find those nasty chemicals making there way into your raised bed.
Charcoal removes toxins. Used in humans to draw out poisons etc and plant composts. Dig in a bag or two of BBQ charcoal and remove it in the future as you dig, no point leaving it in, but no panic to get it out immediatly. Most of my plant composts get charcoal added to keep the compost sweet.
Bill.

_________________
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Belfast
Rank attained: Sessile Oak Tree
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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Liparis wrote:
Sorry to hear your garden is such a mess. You may find those nasty chemicals making there way into your raised bed.
Charcoal removes toxins. Used in humans to draw out poisons etc and plant composts. Dig in a bag or two of BBQ charcoal and remove it in the future as you dig, no point leaving it in, but no panic to get it out immediatly. Most of my plant composts get charcoal added to keep the compost sweet.
Bill.


I think a wood based charcoal would be need.
http://www.bioregionalhomegrown.co.uk/about.html

Perhaps in the short term you might consider using grow bags
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Ciotog
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Joined: 21 Dec 2008
Posts: 11
Location: Clare

PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just reporting back to say that minicole was successfully grown - made nice coleslaw as well.
Regards,
Ciotog
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