Blown over! Diary of a Rocket Gardener

So I went away for a long weekend. It was great timing to go “upcountry” as I got to enjoy all that snow! Loved it! Unfortunately Cornwall didn’t get snow in my absence…it got a lot of strong winds instead. I came home to find a heavy branch had fallen into the chicken run (all chickens are intact so it wasn’t a disaster!) and things had blown all over the veg patch. But the real casualties were my sprouts and broccoli.

Some of the sprouts are now leaning almost horizontally on the raised beds. I’m not too worried about them as it is the more mature ones that have done the falling and I planned to harvest them for Christmas dinner as well. but what is interesting is that they have been quite damaged by slugs whereas the ones that are still standing strong look much healthier. I’ll harvest them for Christmas this weekend so that they don’t get further slug damage (can’t have everyone think I’m a rubbish gardener after all!)

The broccoli has saddened me a little. I had planted 5 green sprouting broccoli plugs back in September. I lost one to caterpillars/slugs and was nurturing the other two well with horticultural fleece (which I think has really helped them to grow fast) and they’d reached a good size. They wouldn’t grow much between now and spring, but that early growth spurt would have meant an earlier harvest in spring which I was quite excited about. But some things are not meant to be – 3 of my remaining 4 broccoli plants blew over in the wind and snapped at the base of the stalk. Poor things. Luckily, I am left with a solitary plant (albeit one that looks like the leaning tower of Pisa) and I’m going to stake him up this weekend so that he can stand strong throughout winter. Fingers crossed.

So my friends, the moral of the story is this – if you’re growing sprouts or broccoli, it’s really a good idea to pop a stake in and tie them in at the stalk so that they’re less likely to be annihilated by wintry winds!