Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Experiment with planting cabbages into firm versus loose soil.

When I first got the 'gardening bug' as hubby calls it and bought some cabbage seedlings I was having a look on the internet for some information about planting brassicas and came across Rob Bob's video about his experiment with planting them into firm soil as opposed to loose soil and how pleased he was with the results.


So we followed his instructions and today I picked my first cabbage and have another three which are around the same size already which I will pick in the next few days. He explains in the video about how he prepares the beds for planting and it is well worth having a look if you are keen to grow brassicas.

To be quite honest I had given up on the cabbages as there were so many Cabbage White Butterflies laying hundreds of eggs on the seedlings that they were almost decimated by the developing grubs which I did my best to find and get rid of.  I am sure the neighbours wondered why this strange woman was bent over and looking intently at the cabbages through a magnifying glass. We did spray them with a natural spray but then the rain came and spraying again was out of the question after that as it rained for a week or so.
After a few days of rain I wandered outside in the drizzle to see if there was anything left of the cabbages and I was pleasantly surprised to find that they were actually growing.

 When we planted them out we firmed the soil first but we did plant one in loose soil to see if Rob Bob's method would work for us and it certainly did. This photo of the plant was taken on the same day as the photo above it and you can see that it hasn't grown nearly as much.

This is what it looked like today and when you compare it with the first photo of the cabbage I picked today the difference is quite marked. We now have quite a few cabbages to use up and I have been getting some good meal suggestions from the great cooks on the Down to Earth forum.

When I first realised how damaging the White Butterfly could be I did some research on how to stop them from getting at the plants and remembered that one of the ladies who comes to our Simple Living Group had mentioned that she had had great success with growing her plants after covering them with Vege Nets from NetPro. So I checked out their website and was going to order some nets online. However, she was going to Stanthorpe where the company is and kindly bought a couple of nets for us while she was there. The net in the photo cost $12.10.   So the next time we plant brassicas the netting will go over them straight away and hopefully we won't have any more problems with the creepy crawlies.
I still have broccoli and kale growing and I am looking forward to harvesting them too. Have you had success with growing brassicas?


  1. Those are beauties I must say. I bet they taste great as well. Mine are still only about the stage of your 3rd photo (late planting bah!). So perhaps by the time we get home from Tassie they might be looking a bit more like cabbages. I am currently trying the molasses spray but like you rain can undo all the good work. We net some of our fruit trees, but I had not thought of this application as well. Looking forward to more vegie patch shots from you.

  2. Thanks Barb. I must say I was astounded to see the size of the cabbages when we got back from the beach. You might get a nice surprise when you get back too.

  3. I just pretty much threw seeds in, covered with a light layer of soil had plenty of seedlings. Thinned out now and doing nicely. Yes the constant rain keeps washing of an insecticide one used.

  4. That's good Deb. Hubby is spraying the broccoli now as it actually hasn't rained for a day or so. I forgot to check the forecast to find out when more is expected so hopefully it will get a chance to work. I have found a few grubs unfortunately.


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