Planting the Spring Brassicas

I took advantage of relatively dry weather this last week and got our spring brassicas planted. We’re still having frosts here, and even had temperatures dip below freezing on two morning this week. The cabbage family plants are pretty hardy though, and the temps rebounded quickly and the the little seedlings are none the worse for wear. I got two of the cold frame beds planted first. These are situated behind the new greenhouse on the south side of it and benefit from the somewhat warmer microclimate.

cold frame bed with kohlrabi

I planted one bed with kohlrabi, 30 plants in all. The cold frame is covered with bird netting to keep the deer and other critters from getting to the plants. The netting is a bit tattered but I figure I can get a bit more use out of it. The plants aren’t as big as they were last year, but in 2019 we got so much rain that planting was delayed and the plants kept growing before planting. These plants are the size I like them, with two or three true leaves and a well developed root system. I mulched with shredded newspaper and cardboard, which will keep down weeds and conserve soil moisture before it eventually breaks down and adds organic matter to the soil.

young kohlrabi seedling

I made a short video the day I planted the kohlrabi, and I’ll share it here.

I planted the other bed with a mix of cabbage, kohlrabi and mizuna. For this bed I fashioned a support from bent PVC pipe, and secured bird netting to it with clothes pins. I used the shredded paper mulch here as well.

bed with PVC pipe supports

In the main garden I planted broccoli, cabbage and kohlrabi this morning. I worked up the bed last week, and added compost and other amendments. I put a little organic fertilizer in the planting holes and worked it in the soil, and watered all the plants with Neptune’s Harvest hydrolyzed fish fertilizer after setting them out.

brassica bed

These plants were about the same size as the kohlrabi, with two to three true leaves and a well-developed but not rootbound root system. I will come back and mulch these in a few days.

brassica seedling

I hope you have enjoyed this update on my planting activities. For more detailed timing information please see my Seed Starting and Planting Schedule.

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7 Responses to Planting the Spring Brassicas

  1. Lisa says:

    They look great! Where do you get the shredded paper and cardboard?

  2. Will - EightGateFarmNH says:

    Thanks for posting this Dave. My brassicas look about the same size as yours, and since today promises to be warm(ish), I will plant them out, along with onions. We should have a few more light frosts in the upcoming days, but I hope they will withstand it. I watched your video. In all these years, I never knew you had a southern accent!

    • Dave @ HappyAcres says:

      The videos are easy to make and I plan to do more of them. I’ve been sharing them on my Facebook fan page too. I guess the accent is relative – go about 10 miles south of here to Kentucky and they really have the accent!

      • Pleased to hear that you are getting into the video habit Dave, it does add something to the exerience and it’s quick too. I started doing gardening videos because I spent 90% of my working life sitting at a laptop writing reports and making presentations. I didn’t want a hobby that involved sitting down. I decided on video because during the last 10% of my working life I was only able to work for 10 hours a week (autoimmune disorder) so I wasn’t able to attend endless pointless meetings or give repeat presentations, or spend my life on email. Instead I wrote blog posts and created videos. A single video could be watched by 1000 people at work, removing the need for a dozen or more repeat presentations, one blog post replaced 50 emails etc. In 10 hours I easily did more work than most people did in a full week, so the company decided to pay me a full wage! Eventually I got fed up of the politics (which is hard to deal with in 10 hours) so I retired and never looked back

  3. Hi Dave, it’s interesting to see that you plant your brassicas small, I tend to prick mine on into bigger pots, so they are two months old when I plant them. I plant lettuce small though, I guess it’s just because my main brassica beds don’t come free for another month, so I just got into the habit of planting big : All the best – Steve

    • Dave @ HappyAcres says:

      I do sometimes pot them up and wait to plant, but if the space is available and I can work it up then I go ahead and plant small.

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