SOW­ING BRASSICAS FOR WIN­TER

Matamata Chronicle - - Gardening -

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).

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