Apparently (heard it on the radio – link here to the report) there’s a shortage of some winter vegetables in the supermarkets at the moment due to the harsh weather conditions we had in November and December last year. Farmers have lost a lot of their crops, though mainly cauliflowers and purple sprouting broccoli. Knowing how much they charge for a tiny punnet of PSB in Waitrose is a good enough reason for me to grow it, but now I feel even more smug that I have a good supply of it on my allotment.
Even better is the fact that it was a free packet of seed that I’ve been using for the past 3 years, so it really only costs me the price of a bit of compost to get them started, and a splash of seaweed feed when they start producing.
They did suffer a bit when the hard frosts struck us back in November, and as I didn’t get a chance to get down there to cover them up, I feared they’d be lost. But thankfully they survived okay, and have now bounced back. They are much later than normal (this is Extra Early Rudolph that normally crops from late November), a lot of the lower leaves have fallen off, and they’re not as tall as those I grew in the first year, but that’s okay as they’re less likely to topple over, and they have plenty of shoots on them which is the important bit.
I came back from the plot with this little lot today. The leaves are as tasty as the heads. This year I’m going to be growing a summer variety that supposedly is ready around June time. This is really unusual as PSB normally needs a long growing season, so whether these will crop this June or next I’m not sure! I’ve sown the seeds for them today, so we’ll see how they get on.
My cold frame is filling up already. Got some more broad beans sown, leeks, lettuce and sugar snap peas are all through, some hardy annuals are now germinating, and I have 3 sweet peas that survived from an autumn sowing. They look a bit straggly but have got good roots on them, so I’ve repotted them in the hope they’ll pick up. I have now sown some more. Also in the heated propagator are Brussel sprouts, the PSB mentioned above, and some peppers that will be grown indoors. And it’s still only February.