Cauliflower, Broccoli and Kale, Oh My!

Fancy hunts loopers

This year’s summer garden was a little, oh, neglected. But even with a couple week-long (plus) absences during 100 degree (plus) heatwaves, the tomatoes fared well enough and the cucumbers continue to limp along. Which, really, is all we need.

But now that the lonely melon has fallen, all the pots left barren after the summer’s neglect are hopping with cheddar cauliflower, Russian kale, Bright Lights chard, Pacman broccoli, and Jade Cross, a relatively fast-maturing (80-90 days, according to the tag) Brussels sprout variety. In the past, POD’s fall garden efforts have been pretty spotty (kale and parsnips, success, everything else? Not so much.) But in the past, POD planted weeks later (and, to be honest, may still be a few weeks too late) and attempted to start things from seed.

As starting from seed just isn’t happening right now, $21-worth of starts from Greensgrow are taking root. Buyer beware: cabbage loopers love these brassicas and the starts at Greensgrow were a’crawlin’! Look for starts without nibble holes in the leaves and then very, very carefully look at the undersides of the leaves for teeny, tiny, itty-bitty young loopers. If you find any, squish them. Do this daily.

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2 thoughts on “Cauliflower, Broccoli and Kale, Oh My!

  1. Hi, Just wanted to let you know how amazing your blog is! I grew up in a rural town too where I found myself with 24/7 dirt under my nails and just started my own container garden in the Fairmount area! Unfortunately, growing things in pots is not nearly as easy as just stickin’ them in the ground, and your blog gives me the lighthearted inspiration I need!

    Question–whenever I try to research what is going wrong with my plants, I find complicated answers that include special fertilizer treatments, etc. Do you regularly compost or fertilize or do you just let the dirt and water do the work? Thanks! And I hope your garden continues through the fall!

    1. I seriously hear you. Gardeners love complicated. In part, I think, because they typically have too much time on their hands, in part because they just like making it seem even harder than it is, and in part because it really is kinda’ hard sometimes. I’ve done everything from religiously applying MiracleGro every 14 days, to all-organic weekly applications of worm casting and seaweed teas, to not doing a stinking thing (like, um, this year.) The year before last, I was obsessed with pH levels — let me tell you, that way lies madness and not much else. I will say that the fertilized container garden fares better than the unfertilized garden. And if you think about it, it makes sense: think of all the good stuff that flows right out of the bottoms of your pots each time you water them. And while I generally think going organic is best, I also think that I saw marginally better results with semi-regular applications of less holy fertilizers. If you’re doing this to be all organic, by all means, go organic. If you’re doing this for food and you’re on a budget, well, I won’t tell.

      Thanks for the kind words! And good luck. (And, when obsessively googling, I try to stick with university horticultural extensions. They tend to give the most reliable and sanest answers. I find that other sources, like message boards, can be mazes of contradictory information.)

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