Hopefully you’ve been finding our “trial brassica” journey interesting and helpful so far. And this is where it really begins – the planting out!
Before planting out, we gave each plant the usual treatment – a good soak in some diluted Maxicrop seaweed. We find that this gives the plants a good start when they’re first planted out as the seaweed is an organic growth booster! We soak each plant, in its pot, until the bubbles stop – this tells us that the compost is almost saturated with the seaweed mixture and there are no air pockets left.
Although it’s different for other crops, it’s hard to overwater a brassica like broccoli, cauliflowers and cabbages, because they just love water, and need lots of it to grow up to size!
After this, we planted the brassicas out, making sure to label them as we went, as we had quite a few varieties, and don’t want to get these mixed up later down the line! We planted the varieties out in the order we expect them to mature, based on our experience with these varieties and what the seed packets tell us! We do this as then they’re easier to monitor when it comes to harvesting as you don’t have to clamber in between lots of different rows to check whether a head is forming. We’ll have to see whether our experience/the seed packets are right!!
We spaced the plants about 18-24 inches apart (or about the length of two trowels!), with each row about the same distance apart. Again, it’s important to give brassicas enough space to grow, as if they don’t have enough space to grow a decent sized plant, unfortunately they are unlikely to produce a decent sized head of broccoli/cauliflower!
We then watered them in to settle the soil around each plant and sprinkled a few slug pellets round each plant to prevent the slugs and snails having a feast on our tender young plants.
As we have lots of pigeons in our garden too, we then covered with some bird netting. Otherwise, the plants would all be gone by the morning!