Trialling the brassica seeds

Different seeds have different shelf lives, with the shelf life typically decreasing once the sealed packet has been opened. But we always think it’s a shame to just throw the remainder of a packet of seed from one year away the following year if you didn’t finish it.

Therefore, early on in the season we often do “trials” of our half opened packets of seeds to check which ones are still viable for this season. This particular trial was for brassicas.

We’ve got a few different varieties here, with three of each seed sown, just to test them out. The varieties we are hoping to grow this year cauliflower-wise are: BarcelonaFairway, Boris and SV-581-8AC (a trial variety, hence why it doesn’t have a proper name). As well as this, we hope to grow Marathon broccoli, Graffiti purple cauliflower and Navona romanesco cauliflower .

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We sowed three of each variety, just to test out the viability. And as you can see, we got 100% germination!

About a week after sowing, they were ready to be pricked out. We pricked them out, one seedling per pot, into 3″ square pots in multipurpose compost.

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And another week on, some sunny weather, and the protection of a cold greenhouse, they look like this! Things grow so quickly at this time of year.

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These will stay in these pots until they are planted out in the garden, just watering them to make sure the compost remains moist. There’s nothing worse than compost that has been allowed to dry out – and it’s virtually impossible to wet again, which means your plants have most likely had it by that point! We’ll keep you updated!

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