Swede and Sprouts just not growing

i am struggling with my winter veg.  My sprouts are tiny abd do t seem to be growing and my swede are the same, healthy enough plants but no actual swede.  Could I have planted bit too late or is it lack of water or nutrient deficiency,?  My soil is quite sandy, low in potassium but I have been trying to improve it with potash and ash from our log burner.  Feeling a bit disheartened as they have both been in the ground since the summer and they are pretty much a write off.  Would like to know what to do differently next year.


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 8,281

    Sounds like a combination of late planting, lack of nutrients and probably less than ideal weather.  I sow brassicas in early March and plant out when they have 5 true leaves.  Brassicas also tend to do better in heavy soils.  For next year, I would try adding as much well-rotted farmyard manure as you can lay your hands on which will provide the missing nutrients and also help retain water - brassicas don't like soil drying out.  The bagged stuff from garden centres is fine if you can't get it locally.  My own brussels are (unusually) a bit small this year too which I'm putting down to lack of enough sunshine in my area this year.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • I planted brussels in June I bought plants from the garden centre because I was too late to sow any, they grew well through the summer and I managed to keep the worst of the cabbage whites off of them they have been festooned with large sprouts since September,  the variety that I bought were Trafalgar an early variety, I usually do well with brussels growing either Roodnerf or Bosworth. I don't usually want sprouts until this time of year to around February or March so you could still get a decent late crop yet although I grow on clay and can't speak for growing on light soils. As for Swede I always struggle to grow it I don't know why but I just can't get a decent crop, pity really because I like a bit of mashed Swede.

  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    Hi Amanda image

    As I daresay you're aware, sandy soil doesn't hang on to water-soluble nutrients, such as the potash in wood ash.  The only real and long-term answer, IMO is to get as much organic matter into the soil as poss over several years.

    In the short term, I'd've thought that blood/fish/bone would be a better bet than wood ash, as the sprouts will need the nitrogen and the swedes the phosphorus.  And it's less soluble, so will stay around for longer.

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