Brassicas are just perfect for being planted in mid June and July. Most will be ready to harvest in late autumn/early winter and many will over-winter too for harvesting in late winter/early spring. It’s always nice to have that slightly later crop available, and it’s nice to be able to plant out a little later in the summer while you’re waiting to harvest other veggies.
Essentially there are two seasons for planting brassicas – in early spring for harvest in autumn, or in mid-summer for harvesting in winter and early spring the following year. Many gardeners will plant their brassicas out in August (and you can plant kales and a couple of others in autumn too) but by getting them in the ground in mid-June/July you’ll give them a really good head start before autumn arrives (which, given the year so far, could be at any time – you just never know these days!) and growth slows down.
If you are planting brassicas in the next few weeks we have a few words of wisdom for you:
- Protect them from pigeons who are notorious for nibbling at brassica leaves when nobody’s looking! A net or light horticultural fleece will do the job.
- Protect them from cabbage white butterflies who will jump at the chance to lay their eggs on your brassica plants. Again, light horticultural fleece will do the trick.
- Put a brassica collar around the base of the stem to protect from cabbage root fly. Simply cut a 10cm disc out of cardboard, cut a slit into the middle (and a couple of extra small 1cm slits at the centre to give the stem a bit of space) and place it around the stem. This will stop the larvae of the cabbage root fly from burying into the roots of your brassicas.