Broccoli ready to pick
Wow, what a beautiful morning out there in the garden and what a great place to start. Spring is so full of beginnings and endings, most of the beginnings (summer veg) are still in the hot house waiting for the days to warm up just that little bit more (find out more about summer veg soon) but the end of the winter veg is out there and ready to be picked. Those last broccoli that went in to the garden in winter have suddenly shot up and formed lovely heads, the kale is having a growth spurt along with the Brussel Sprouts and Cauliflower, but pretty soon it’s all going to change for the Brassica (all of the plants I have just mentioned fall into this family) along with the season.

You will notice all the lovely Pak Choy, Mizuna, Bok Choy and Rocket wanting to bolt and make flowers (more Brassica ) don’t worry its part of their natural cycle, they are annuals and perfectly suited to our growing season, so now is the time they want to flower. Have you noticed how many of the annual weeds are flowering now? Look at the wild radish (another Brassica) and the cape weed, it’s all flowering and ready to set seed in summer to start its cycle all over again.

Chooks foraging

The plants will grow huge and covered in yellow flowers, they can act as a windbreak or chook forage, they also help control nematodes in the soil. You can eat everything of a Brassica plant, leaves, flowers, seeds even roots (turnips and radish are in this family also) so enjoy tossing some flowers in a salad or making your own mustard once the seed has set. Some people do try for a summer crop of Brassica but in my experience it’s frustrating as all they want to do is go to seed.A last word on Brassica, the seeds do cross so if you do want to save the seed keep this in mind, self sown seedlings will pop up everywhere next autumn if you let the plants go to seed, you may not get exactly what you were expecting but you will always have something to eat.

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