SOWING BRASSICAS FOR WINTER
Most brassicas – from cabbages to broccoli and Brussels sprouts – take 120 days from seed to harvest, so start sowing winter crops now. Sow the large seeds in deep trays (to insulate them from the drying sun), or if you have a seed bed you can cover, sow direct and gently transplant your seedlings when they’re the same size as those in garden centre punnets.
Brassica seedlings sprout in seven to 10 days while it’s warm, although they won’t appreciate drying out in full sun, so keep the trays moist by standing them in a shallow dish of water until the seeds germinate.
Cover seed trays with very fine mesh netting or a polytunnel or cloche to stop them being eaten by white cabbage butterfly caterpillars. Once transplanted, continue to protect your seedlings with loosely draped mesh or Kiwicare’s Organic Caterpillar Bio Control, an
eco-friendly alternative to chemical insecticides (it’s made from a naturally occurring soil bacteria and has no withholding period).