The cabbage cull

It will soon be that time of the year when onion sets and garlic need to be planted. The onion sets are on order, and I’ll be splitting up a couple of the garlic bulbs grown this year, and planting their cloves. Onions and garlic can go in during autumn or spring, and after this year’s disaster, I was keen to get mine in as soon as possible, in the hope they’d get a good stronghold over winter.

I dug out the crop rotation plan, and discovered that they should be planted in the previous season’s brassica bed.

Slight problem there… the cabbages, broccoli and brussels are still whooping it up in there.

So this week I’ve had to make an important gardening decision. My dad used to say that if you’re umming and ahhing about something, write down the plusses and minuses on each side of a sheet of paper, and all should become clear. So off I went, and the list looked a bit like this:

The plus side:

  1. If we ignore the cauliflower disaster of a couple of weeks ago, brassicas are one of the few things that actually survive in my veg plot

The minus side:

  1. Yes, they grow, but it’s touch and go if we get a hearted-up cabbage or not, and only a handful of last year’s Brussels formed nutty balls: all the rest were like miniature baggy cabbages
  1. If there was a cabbage-only supermarket, my family would not be the first ones in the queue. Over the year, I’ve had to be pretty inventive with my culinary skills to get the stuff eaten
  1. The slugs in the garden may as well have their own bar tab, with the amount of beer that’s sloshing around in the slug pubs
  1. I could start off a caterpillar farm with the pickings from the patch

So there you have it. The cold, hard evidence. Brassicas have had their day, so I’ve decided to not grow as many next year. I’ll still plant a few, but not enough to be over-run with the stuff: just sufficient to eat now and again. With this new decisive air about me, I set about clearing some space in the brassica bed to make room for the onion sets that could arrive at any time. Anything that looked puny, holey, or had started forming flowers was swiftly whipped out, and only plants that actually looked edible were allowed to stay in.

The final nail in the cabbagy coffin happened in the week. A photo appeared on the OH’s Facebook page, depicting a slug on the grass, with an arrow behind him saying ‘cabbages’. “Hilarious!” I thought, “I wonder where he’s found that picture”. A closer look revealed the truth. The writing on the sign was his: he’d set the thing up. The message really could not be clearer…

 

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2 thoughts on “The cabbage cull

  1. I went to my first Farmer’s/ Growers Market yesterday. First time I have been in Adelaide (400 klms east of here) on a Sunday morning. Was fantastic and the prices were out of this world. I bought a whole Cauliflower for $3:00 and a half Cabbage for $.90. In the local marker a Cauli is sold for $5;20 and a half cabbage for $2.90. I also bought a whole host of other fruit and vegetables that she asked me to get and I was so very impressed with the quality. It was great. Just thought I’d tell you that – oh and I haven’t started the book yet.

    • I think our supermarket veg is very cheap in comparison – we can pick up a cauliflower for under £1 – which makes you wonder sometimes why we spend so much time and effort trying to grow the stuff 🙂

      The book’s an amalgamation of the articles from the paper, and some of the earlier blog posts – I’ve put them into a complete year so they follow on from each other and give a ‘year in the garden’ view. AKA what I’ve managed to kill off in a whole season 🙂

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