(cabbages, cauliflower, kale, collards, broccoli, Chinese greens etc)
There is quite an art to growing great brassicas. Here are some tips from us:
Sow brassicas during the months of January, February, March (April/May in warm areas) and then August and September. This avoids loads of pest problems (like white butterflies) and trying to grow vegetables in a warm climate they are unsuited to. Colder areas plant in Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, and Feb. If you have a white butterfly problem,.in the short term, you could use our totally harmless use our Koanga Biopesticide, ( made of microbes only) , or perhaps Neem Oil
Sow a wide range of varieties so they ripen over a long period, 3-5 months for most cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. Collards and kale will extend that season, as will sprouting broccoli, filling in gaps during that time.
Sow small amounts of seed in rows across your 3cm deep trays, and prick out as soon as they have second pair of leaves at 5cm centres into 7cm deep trays. As soon as the leaves are touching they can be transplanted into the garden.
The garden soil they are being planted into must be free draining as they are a winter/early spring crop and will be adversely affected by water logged roots.
All brassicas are heavy feeders… to grow well and produce large heads or hearts etc they must grow fast. You need seedlings that have been well grown, and transplanted into beds that have been well fed. We always add a little lime under each plant and again on the surface when planting brassicas even if it is in the compost.
If you don’t have garden beds with high nutrient levels, the plants will need to be liquid fed before and after full moon with comfrey, fish, liquid cow manure etc. Brassicas love lime as well as lots of nutrients. We always compost and lime our brassica beds before planting, and then liquid feed with cow manure/vermicast tea.