Cabbage Problems, potting on etc

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Cabbage Root Fly

I had this come in by email the other day and thought it might help others if I popped it online:

“I’m looking for a bit of advice, I lost all my cabbages, sprouts and cauliflowers to the dreaded cabbage root fly last week. A friend told me never to plant them out until the middle of June? Should I put some lime into the soil and fork it in to kill them?

I’m sorry to hear that you’ve lost your brassicas but the good news is that you can pick up replacement plants from many nurseries and still have time to get them in. I’ve not heard of plantings after mid-June being safe so I wouldn’t rely on that.

Neither have I heard that liming kills cabbage root fly, but brassicas like a neutral soil so adding lime is usually a good idea before planting out. The better the plant is growing, the better able to resist attack.

There’s a full article on the site: cabbage root fly which covers how to protect your plants from attack.

Rhubarb containers

Saturday was pretty miserable to say the least. We might not die of thirst in the west but drowning seems a distinct probability. Anyway, I hid undercover and cut up the wood for the rhubarb containers.

It’s mainly tanalised timber but even that is susceptible to rot where it’s cut, so it all went in to a soak of wood preservative. Boy that stuff stinks! Still, do it right – do it once. Bit of luck and they’ll outlast me.

Potting on brassicas

Sunday was very strange, it didn’t rain and the afternoon was actually summer like! We’re less than a week from the longest day of the year, the summer solstice, so some good weather to take advantage of the long days is welcome.

My main job for the afternoon was to pot on the surviving kale and calabrese from their 3″ pots to 5″ pots. These are the ones the sheep didn’t get when they invaded the veg plot. They could be planted out but the raised bed isn’t ready for them yet so another week or two in pots.

I’ve a little trick with the cabbage tribe; since they like a high pH I add a little lime to the compost as well as a smattering around the planting hole when they do eventually go into the ground.

Incidentally, it’s perfectly possible to grow good brassicas even if your soil has the dreaded club root. Bring the plant on in pots until it has a decent root system. By the time the clubroot gets to them, they’ve got a good enough root to survive until harvest.

New Wheelbarrow

There are often times when we could both do with the wheelbarrow. I’m still kicking myself for leaving one behind when we moved house. The best place to get a wheelbarrow is a builder’s merchant. They’re strong and last the course. You’ll probably find cheaper in DIY stores but for quality, a builders merchant.

My existing barrow is about 80 litres but I wanted a large barrow for moving compost and grass cuttings etc so we got a 120 litre one. £75.00 ouch! But in 10 years I doubt I’ll remember the price and the barrow will still be trundling along.

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