JS Posts: 10
I've had an allotment for 7 years and although have been able to grow most things successfully I've never succeeded in growing cabbages and brussels sprouts well.
The soil is not bad; closer to clay than anything else and every year re-cycled compost (not manure) is added to the beds.
Seed is sown in a seed bed and I make sure the transplanted plants are bedded in tightly and feed at various times, usually with Growmore and Miracle Grow. With sprouts I always get good plant growth but no sprouts or else the sprouts burst early. Cabbages seldom bulk up.
Any help appreciated.
Tricky one JS. Brassicas are nitrogen lovers so I would recommend feeding with chcken manure pellets. I would also give the ground a general feed using another organic fertiliser such as fish, blood and bone when you prepare it in the spring. A good dose of manure will work wonders too. Have you done a soil test lately? It could be that it has become too acidic, so a dose of garden lime before the winter sets in might well be a good idea. The only other advice I can think of is to plant them deeply, right up to the bottom leaves when you plant them out if you don't already do that. Regular watering is essential, especially when they are young - never let young brassicas dry out as this can lead to bolting and blown sprouts etc.
When I said they burst I meant they blow. I have been growing Greyhound cabbages but not very well. Think it might be that the soil is too acidic...the plot is surrounding by Pine trees ....will spread a dose of garden lime over the next few weeks.
Thanks for helpful responses.
I prep my soil for sprouts in the early winter. I dig an 18 inch square hole, one foot deep and three quarters fill it with compost, manure, chicken pellets or Growmor and lime. This is tamped down very firmly, watered, then top filled with soil which is again tamped down very firmly. The surface is then limed. Loose soil is one of the reasons for sprouts 'blowing.' I add more lime when planting the young plants, once again firming the soil around them. I grow Roodnerf which grow up to 5 foot tall (so need firm staking) and have an excellent crop each year. Cabbages also need very firm soil to produce good final results although I prep the holes just a month before planting (Savoy) again with excellent results.
My ground is acid, I have to lime it every two or three years. Have you checked you ph.