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.