In week three you saw big veg, and now you’ve seen giant veg. There’s a world of growing crops the size of spacehoppers, and they’re seriously impressive, but you can still use whatever space you have available to grow veg.
One of the most important things to do is prepare the soil. I made by beds rich in nutrients to give the crops a head starts, by adding in some enriched compost as well as some dried chicken manure.
The high nitrogen and nutrient content makes chicken manure a great fertiliser in the garden.
With many different sizes, shapes, and colours to grow, cabbage is a diverse crop to grow as well as eat.
In a sunny spot with enough room to grow wide, these plants will appreciate a good feed of nitrogen-rich food such as chicken manure which will encourage leaf growth.
When planting them out into open ground, they should be planted deeply with their lowest leaves at ground level.
They root from the stem, so they to be able to get access to nutrients and moisture from the soil, as well as a firm position to hold them in place.
Watch out for cabbage white butterflies that lay eggs on the underside of leaves. If you spot a cabbage butterfly caterpillar, pick it off to get rid of them because they’ll feast on your crops. If it becomes a real problem, you can surround your brassicas with an insect-proof mesh or fine net to stop egg-laying.
Sow: February to September
Plant out: March to October
Harvest: January to December
Cut through the stem with a sharp knife to harvest.
In giant veg competitions it’s not just the length and thickness of the leek that can bag you a win, but also the whiteness of the stems.
The Mammoth Blanch variety can grow three times as big as ordinary leek crops, and there’s some tips to grow them bigger, taller and with whiter stems.
Once planted in, and left to settle for a couple of weeks, surround the growing leek with piping.
The deprivation of light is what turns the stem white, so surrounding the stem with drainpipe and letting the leaves hang over the top will have your luscious leek well on its way to harvest.
Sow: February to April
Plant out: May to July
Harvest: August to February
They can remain in the ground through winter and harvested when needed by lifting the leeks from the soil using a fork.
With these tips you can use your space to grow crops that will be feeding the family for a while, getting the family involved in planting, nurturing and growing food is a great thing to do.
David Domoney is a Chartered Horticulturalist, Broadcaster, and Author. David has worked with a number of the UK’s leading garden retailers as a plant buyer and strategic consultant. With more than 30 years experience, in horticulture, David is as passionate about plants now as he was when he bought his first plant at a village fete.
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