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Posts Tagged ‘brussels sprouts’

We’re now in mid-April and all our early spring crops are looking good! I’m kind of amazed at how much we have planted so far.

There are peas (sugar snap and snow), spinach, radishes, carrots, lettuce, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and onions all doing really well, along with the garlic planted in the fall and chives that come back every year. Most of those are repeats from previous years, except the onions.

We decided to grow onions on a whim this year, even though they’re cheap to buy at the grocery store. After successfully growing garlic last season and learning how much better the homegrown variety was, we suspect onions will be the same. I found a bag of onion sets (they look like tiny, slender onions) that had red, yellow and white onions so we’re trying each variety. There are also a few squares we’ll use for onion seeds to have another later harvest (and for green onions).

We have tons of broccoli this year because the cell packs I bought had nine plants each instead of six, and I decided to try two different varieties. Some are planted in the garden beds and others in containers; same idea with the Brussels sprouts, which we can move around to find the ideal conditions/area for them to grow.

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Our lettuce looked promising when we transplanted it.

Our lettuce looked promising when we transplanted it, but it hasn’t grown much bigger than this.

As some of our space cleared from summer vegetables that stopped producing or died, we were really excited to plant our fall garden. Peas could go where the cucumber was, lettuce could take over the first bed, Brussels sprouts and broccoli could fill in wherever they’d fit. It was a great plan, or so we thought.

We should have known that when multiple sowings of lettuce, spinach and broccoli seed never sprouted that it was probably a bad sign. I assumed we hadn’t watered them enough, the seeds were bad, something. So we decided to try to start everything in pots and transplant where needed later.

This part worked wonderfully. We had lots of baby lettuce and almost a dozen Brussels sprouts plants.

The peas we planted in place started to sprout and grow. It looked promising.

But looking promising and being productive are two different things, and our fall garden excitement quickly turned to disappointment.

The lettuce transplants look great, but they aren’t any bigger than the day we put them in the raised beds. All the Brussels sprouts either wilted or had their leaves chewed by something. And the kale we tried to grow in a pot? Knocked over and spilled everywhere –probably as a result of the squirrels trying to bury acorns wherever they can.

While it was unfortunate we couldn’t keep the harvest going into the cooler months, we’ll try again next year. And we hope, with a little more planning, we’ll have a fantastic fall garden.

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On a whim this year, we decided to add Brussels sprouts to our planting list. Both of us really like to eat them but have only ever had the frozen variety from the grocery store.

One of these little caterpillars did all this damage. The bottom right shows complete destruction of our Brussels sprouts.

When we bought our plants this year, Matt noticed the garden center also had sprouts, so we decided to get some. They’re at the back of our lettuce bed in the space vacated by the broccoli we never got to harvest because the squirrels ate all the seeds.

The Brussels sprouts were doing fine for a while but then they started to get holes in the leaves and every few days, more and more of the plant was gone. At first, I suspected slugs because those were a known problem in our gardens.

We lost four of the six Brussels sprouts we planted but found some more at the garden center and replanted.

When we planted the replacements I noticed a tiny green caterpillar near the roots. After a bit of research, I found out that it was the cabbage white butterfly and its larvae causing all the destruction.

One of the “saved” plants, left, and a replacement. Both seem to be doing well.

I started using an insect spray and we haven’t had much of a problem on batch two. Next year, I want to find a better method (preferably organic) to control these and this website looks like a good place to start.

My mom also told me about some kind of dust my grandpa used to use to protect his cabbage and broccoli from being eaten by this cabbage butterfly. She didn’t remember what it was so I’ll have to look it up for next season.

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