Monday, April 3

Bonus Pickings

Having decided that last week we had picked the last of the sprouts we decided to remove the plants. The tops go to the compost heap and the roots to the garden waste bin. We have a club root problem and so don't try to compost the roots. Treatment of the collected waste should sterilise the disease but we don't have the capacity to do this and the council don't like us to have fires so we keep burning down to an absolute minimum.

As I was chopping down the tops of the sprouts I noticed a few remaining 'buds' and decided to try and get another picking from the plants. Some sprouts at the very top of the plant were tiny but we managed enough of a harvest to have with dinner.
Other than the cauliflowers, the brassicas planted last autumn have been disappointing. These were also cleared revealing that they were badly affected with club root. It's confirmation that we will have to stick to club root resistant varieties in future. We did manage to find one small savoy cabbage to harvest.

There are still leeks to dig and the rhubarb is producing more sticks than we need to pick which means the plant has plenty of leaves feeding the plant to build up its strength to produce another good crop next year.

This year to try and thwart whitefly attack we covered the plants with environmesh. This seems to have worked. I left the mesh off the sprouts last week as they were ready to be uprooted and already by this week the whitefly had moved in and deposited eggs on the underside of many of the leaves

I was fascinated by the patterns that the eggs were arranged in. On reading up about the whitefly life-cycle this is typical. It looks as though some of the eggs have already hatched into nymphs. In hot conditions from the egg first being deposited to reaching egg producing stage can take as little as sixteen days. It probably takes a little longer at this time of the year but its no wonder they become such a nuisance. Enviromesh will be deployed again this year! 

Another fairly successful brassica harvest was a small posy of wallflowers.
I did leave plenty of flowers for the bees to enjoy.



I am linking to harvest Monday hosted on Dave's blog Our Happy Acres


22 comments:

  1. THat bouquet is stunning--what lovely flowers. You'll certainly enjoy those in a vase.

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    1. It was a very small posy, Sue. To call it a bouqet would be flattering it.

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  2. Those are interesting patterns in the eggs, I would have loved to watch the egg layers in action. It's the end of the sprouts season here too, I just started cutting down the plants yesterday.

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    1. You can't actually see this with the naked eye, Michelle. I was amazed when I zoomed up the photo. The whitefly must stay in the same position and rotate its body to create the pattern.

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  3. The cabbage does look like a nice addition to an early spring harvest. It's too bad about the club root disease, I don't think I've seen it here. Whiteflys are another story, and they can be a real problem here in the greenhouse in summer.

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    1. Once club root is present in the soil it stays around for years, Dave.

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  4. Lovely leeks and rhubarb, Sue. Sure you cooked leek soup, didn't you? I love rhubarb compote. What a nice bouquet of wallflowers!

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    1. We haven't used the leeks yet, Nadezda.

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  5. It's so nice when we get just that little bit more from a plant that we didn't expect. And such beautiful flowers - a lovely way to usher in the season.

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    1. It was good to have another helping of sprouts, Margaret.

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  6. I am going to pretend my brassicas were rubbish this year...in reality I didn't go down often enough to check...I also haven't looked at my rhubarb though I don't have much...I am thinking of planting some more this year...any tips on a good variety??
    Glad you left plenty of flower for the bees.

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    1. If you want some early rhubarb try Timperley Early, Tanya. We also like Giant Crimson Grooveless.

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  7. A good haul Sue. Leeks are bigger than anything I got. I had a big white fly problem last year. Bottle of liquid soap from Amazon and a spray gun helped a lot.

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    1. Whitefly are horrid like things, Dicky. If they take a hold you have to make sure that you keep your mouth tightly closed when trying to harvest.

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  8. I'm jealous, every time you showing me your leek...

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    1. They will soon be over now, Endah.

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  9. Not a bad harvest for the hungry gap. Those wallflowers are beautiful.

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    1. I think very soon it will be only rhubarb, Julieanne.

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  10. Just loved those wallflowers,they are so fragrant, lovely mix of colours. Those eggs are laid in deliberately....as you say, fascinating!xxx

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    1. Strangely , Dina the wallflowers that I picked don't have much perfume. I'm guessing that the whitefly stays in one position and rotates depositing an egg as she turns, a bit like using a compass.

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  11. Whitefly are such a nuisance, Sue. I 've just cleared some kale plants and the whitefly were all over the place. I love the colours of the wallflowers, so bright and cheerful

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    1. You really need a face mask when dealing with whitefly infestations, Margaret.

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