Forum home Fruit & veg

Will these be over-winter sprouting broccoli plants and is AT right about predators?

Hello
I bought this tray of 7 purple sprouting broccoli plants from the reduced section of a local GC. On getting them home I checked AT's kitchen gardener book (my usual veg bible, charity shop find) and on the face of it they are the ones that grow over the winter. AT suggests therefore they are less susceptible to pests as the edible bit grows after the butterflies have gone. Having struggled with caterpillars eating much of my cavolo Nero and calabrese last year because I didn't net them, this seemed reassuring.
I then spot that there is a summer variant of purple sprouting broccoli, and having seen some, labelled summer purple in another outlet, they look much the same.
I'm not sure that the place I got these from would know as they buy in their veg plants, so can anyone tell whether these plants are the summer or winter version please? And if they are the winter ones then am I ok not to net against butterflies? 
Thanks


No longer newish but can't think of a new name so will remain forever newish.  B) 

Posts

  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 7,079
    They could be winter ones. Mine are a lot smaller but they can be sown late April time and they'd be about that size now. 

    I would net them either way. AT is sort of right, in that when they get eaten down to sticks by the caterpillars (and that seems to be inevitable here - just too many to pick them off - perhaps AT has fewer butterflies), they do resprout quite well in the autumn when the butterflies subside. But if we get a mild autumn and the caterpillars are around late, or a cold autumn and the plants struggle to recover, you can lose them (I have done).

    I net mine but take the nets off when the autumn storms blow in as the nets just get shredded and the butterflies have generally - mostly - gone by then
    Gardening on the edge of Exmoor, in Devon

    “It's still magic even if you know how it's done.” 
  • They could be winter ones. Mine are a lot smaller but they can be sown late April time and they'd be about that size now. 

    I would net them either way. AT is sort of right, in that when they get eaten down to sticks by the caterpillars (and that seems to be inevitable here - just too many to pick them off - perhaps AT has fewer butterflies), they do resprout quite well in the autumn when the butterflies subside. But if we get a mild autumn and the caterpillars are around late, or a cold autumn and the plants struggle to recover, you can lose them (I have done).

    I net mine but take the nets off when the autumn storms blow in as the nets just get shredded and the butterflies have generally - mostly - gone by then
    Thanks RG, good point that caterpillars may well eat the leaves- they don't know we're waiting for the sprouts. AT also says plant in firm ground because of wind rock, but I don't have any especially firm ground I can use, unless I make a feature of them in the lawn, lol. I thought I would put several inches of home made compost on top of a spare bed and trample it in well. I've got some plastic-coated metal canes that I can push in a long way so hopefully that should work.
    No longer newish but can't think of a new name so will remain forever newish.  B) 

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,007
    You have to loosen the soil to make the hole in which you plant them.  Afterwards, use yoour hands to firm the soil well round each plant.  Water well.   Those are tall enough to bury a couple of inches of their stems which will help reduce wind rock.

    As for caterpillars, why risk it?  It's not hard to net them and better safe than sorry.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Hampshire_HogHampshire_Hog Posts: 1,089
    edited June 2019
    Purple sprouting will go all through the winter if you keep picking mine have still to go out I net all my brassicas regardless and take them off September time. As Obelixx suggests I would plant them deep half of the stem would be fine or even just below the first leaves heel them in well and they will need a stake or cane to support them if your in a windy area later on. 🐗

    "You don't stop gardening because you get old, you get old because you stop gardening." - The Hampshire Hog
  • Thanks for all the suggestions - netting it is then! They won't be going in the ground for maybe a week yet because I haven't prepped the site, and the forecast is definitely not for ground prepping, even if that is just a bit of weeding and topping up with compost.  They will go into 4" pots for now where I'm sure they should be ok, and safe from slugs too as they will be well off the ground!
    No longer newish but can't think of a new name so will remain forever newish.  B) 

  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,716
    yes you need to net, against the cabbage whites, mine overwintered perfectly well, and the slugs werent interested in them.
Sign In or Register to comment.