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Brassicas Planning Help.


 
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Blowin
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Joined: 20 Aug 2008
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Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 8:28 pm    Post subject: Brassicas Planning Help. Reply with quote

With most crops, when to do things isn't too complicated but I always have trouble with the brassicas, mainly because there are so many of them and they vary so much in growing time. I've probably got enough space to produce something green for most of the year but would appreciate perhaps a series of 'plans' that would list the varieties to achieve it.

We have an excellent chap in the local market who sells plants all through the year, all of which are good strong specimens. However, we try to steer clear of the town on market days - parking difficult etc. - and I approached the plant man a couple of days ago, asking him if he could tell me which months I'd need to go there to buy the relevant succession of plants. This he failed to grasp so I'm now resorting to Plan B.

Our particular preference is for Sprouts, purple sprouting, cauliflower, curly kale, Spring Hero cabbage, York-type pointed cabbage plus any other cabbage that would fill gaps they don't provide for. Other contributors may have different lists - hence my suggestion of several plans that I and my fellow numbskulls could choose from.

All I need is a list of a year's varieties saying a) when to sow seed, or b) when to buy plants and, c) the cropping periods. If I can be totally honest, I bought five trays of various plants the other day (none of them labelled) after being blinded with science by our man with 50,000 options. I've planted them all and they all look good but I haven't a clue what's what, or which is which, and must now wait until they mature to see what we can eat. I'd like to be more in charge of this part of the garden next year if I can.

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tagwex
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't forget those 'special' seeds!
I get packs of cabbage seed from Unwins titled 'all year round cabbage'. There are four varieties and obviously all four are sown at different times. Simples and sorted for me anyway.

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Last edited by tagwex on Wed Apr 15, 2015 7:20 am; edited 1 time in total
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Blowin
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Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They went into pots the next day, thanks, but, like everything else at the moment, not much movement. Planted out 24 sprouts and 12 curly kale yesterday (while I could remember what they were) plus a tray of swedes. Soon the gallons of nettle tea will have to go on.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hope they were big pots! That's the trouble with them brassicas, they look the same for some time. I had the same problem myself last year, trays got mixed up and I didn't know what was what until they grew into something recognisable.
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ian
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:11 pm    Post subject: Brassicas Reply with quote

You can sow brassica seeds from Feb to September growing for baby leaf salad without heat, those planted from June to August will give mature plants for the hungry gap, Dec to April Most will take 7 to 9 months to reach maturity. I wouldn't worry about lead times for each crop as much as record keeping labelling and dating everything will give you a picture of what grows for you in your soil and location so you can improve for the following year. Best of luck.
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Blowin
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Joined: 20 Aug 2008
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Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many thanks, Ian. I realise salad leaves come under the broad heading of 'Brassicas' but I seem to be able to manage a reasonable attempt at them. It's the main veg that we normally eat with a cooked meal that cause me the problem.

I'm quite sure the man in our market was entirely factual in what he said, but for, say, purple sprouting the varieties now available can probably produce florets more or less all year round. He then wanted to tell me how long they take to mature and how far apart to plant them and, by the time he'd got on to the third variety of sprouts, I'd glazed over. Hence my 5 trays of anonymous plants that will remain a mystery until they grow.

In starting this post I included the planting of seed for those who might want to go that way but I, personally, intend to start with plants. So, I'm really looking for a simple calendar of when I need to brave Bantry market to buy plants that will provide the 'Catering Manager' with something from the above list to cook throughout the year.

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ian
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those starter plants or plugs will be 4 to 6 weeks old depending on size offered. Expect mature plant to take 28 weeks in your tropical West Cork climate just work backwards to estimate harvest date. I would buy 4 of each variety you like every two weeks from now till early June and get a harvest all through Nov to April. Once near maturity they can withstand the cold so you can leave them in the ground till needed.
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Blowin
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Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Ian. Our man offers trays of either 12 or 24, depending on variety, and I've already invested for this year except for something he told me to go back for in July (Purple Sprouting?). However, I'll try to be a bit better organised next year and will try your system.
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mcgrueser
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Purple Sprouting Broccoli? Very good plant to have in. Definitely get some off him and plant for this time next spring.

I just harvested a bag of lovely fresh purple broc last weekend. Love it
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Blowin
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Absolutely, McG. We may have one feed left from last year's crop but @ 90 mins from stalk to plate it's unbeatable.
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Good guy
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Same here, Blowin. Pity there's only about one more picking in it. But then, the yorks are coming along nicely now they've had a feed of nettle tea. Ah! Brassicas!
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