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Brassicas big enough to plant out?

Stephanie newish gardenerStephanie newish gardener Aberdeenshire/Moray coastPosts: 453
After carefully re-potting my brassicas (thanks @BobTheGardener) I've looked in a few places to see if they are big enough now to plant out, but opinion seems to vary so I'm hoping for collective wisdom.
I have read it's a good idea to put some chicken manure pellets in each planting hole, but I thought that might scorch the roots so some advice on that would be useful. The bed has not been manured at all and is possibly not the best place on a preparation level for them, but it's all I have.
Have also seen its beneficial to sow some lettuces in between the broccoli too, so I might try that.
All thoughts welcome thanks 


  • Mary370Mary370 Limerick, Ireland Posts: 2,003
    I don't know the answer but they are fine and healthy,  well done
  • nick615nick615 SW IrelandPosts: 815
    Good idea re. the chicken manure pellets.  Won't do any harm.  I'd say, with careful handling, get them out as soon as possible, making sure the hole you create for each is big enough to easily slot the whole thing in undisturbed.  My only caveat is to remember the more delicate the seedling, the more attractive slugs will find them.  A sprinkle of slug pellets should avoid that.  A few grains of pelleted lime with the chicken pellets will also help UNLESS they're broccolli or caulis which I'm told like a bit of acidity to help set the florets.
  • Stephanie newish gardenerStephanie newish gardener Aberdeenshire/Moray coastPosts: 453
    So having asked if these are big enough to go out, we've now got heavy rain and possible gales forecast for the end of the week, along with a 10-12C drop in temp so I'm wondering whether to hold off until that passes.
    I'm happy that they will withstand weather once they're bigger, and I will put a cane in with each of the kale and broccoli plants to tie them to in due course, but I'm not sure if they will be strong enough to do that just yet. The caulis could be ok as they shouldn't need staking, but again I'm not sure if the stems are quite up to strong winds.
    The weather might not turn out to be that bad, but I'm thinking I'd be really miffed if I plant them out and they all get blown over and broken.
    For anyone else living in the north two-thirds of Scotland, this forecast is from a very reliable local amateur weatherman who is often more right than the met office, so if you're in this area, beware by the end of the week, and don't put the cardi away yet! 
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,067
    I plant them when they have 5 true leaves, so leaving a bit longer shouldn't be a problem.  Plant them deeper so the base of the lowest true leaves are just (1cm) below the soil and firm down well. :)
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Stephanie newish gardenerStephanie newish gardener Aberdeenshire/Moray coastPosts: 453
    @BobTheGardener, that's really helpful thanks, much more useful to have a benchmark like the number of leaves, than to go by height, especially if the seedlings weren't put deeply enough into their new pots in the first place...🙄
    Fortunately their new palace awaits.... amazing what you can do with an old gazebo and some scaffolding netting 😊😎

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,067
    edited June 2020
    @Stephanie newish gardener Superb!  That will keep the vast majority of pests away and also help with wind-rock.  :)
    You are doing very well, those look like excellent young plants! 👍
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 15,339
    That is the best cabbage house I've seen. I'm thinking of doing something similar with the growhouse that seems to like blowing away, now the wind protection (trees) next door have gone.
    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • Stephanie newish gardenerStephanie newish gardener Aberdeenshire/Moray coastPosts: 453
    To give you an idea of the size, we cut down the lower legs so it is 1.25m tall on the outside, you can stand up in the middle and the base is 3mx3m. The scaffold net is 3m wide and we have joined two pieces together at the back by sewing through the holes with some strong cord - see pic.
    The access is at the front where the whole front net will lift up - I've threaded two long pieces of wooden beading through the holes and they will just lift up so I can get in to weed and pick produce (fingers crossed!) It needs a bit more finessing in places, and then properly pegging down all round, but the legs are pegged firmly so it shouldn't go anywhere.  It's held onto the frame with tie-wraps and some of the bendy twisty tie stuff.
    My intention is to put that piece of board down the middle and have a U-shape bed that I can access from the middle.  I'm trying to work out the best arrangement of the plants, probably putting the caulis on the outside edge at the left and front so they won't be shaded by the bigger kale and broccoli. The front of the cage faces east and it goes into shade at about midday before getting a bit more sun at about 3pm. As the sun is up at 4:30 just now, it will still get lots of light.
    The kale is a mix that's meant to be picked young so I will put those nearer the accessible edge of the bed as they should be ready for harvest quicker, with the broccoli nearer the back.
    The bed didn't exist a few weeks ago, it was just grass and scrub and the site of our occasional bonfires. My husband dug it over on a bit of a whim I think, hence it hasn't been manured at all.  I hadn't intended to grow much veg this year as we had got a couple of holidays planned and I wanted to try to get the rest of the garden into better shape. Obviously all that changed so I decided I'd try some broccoli and kale, and boldly try caulis too.  
    I've grown kale and broccoli before, a couple of years ago, but the seedlings sat in pots for months before I planted them out so they were quite sturdy if a little pot-bound by the time they went in the ground.  They did quite well except they got decimated by caterpillars as I didn't protect them with netting, so I kind of vowed never again.
    With all this coronavirus thing I half suspected we might find fresh veg either in short-ish supply and/or very expensive, so I bit the bullet, but then got uncertain about how the seedlings were doing, especially when they started to go a bit limp.
    Thanks to advice from @BobTheGardener they now look a whole lot better and as they have some luxury accommodation I want to be sure they will survive.

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