I’ve been cultivating Brussels Sprouts and purple sprouting broccoli over the last few weeks and they’ve now reached the stage whereby they’re big enough to plant out. The plants are around 15-20cm tall with good robust steams and accompanying lovely foliage.
I’ve prepared a bed, (and by prepare, I mean weeded) that has good exposure to the sun. I’ve also chosen to plant the brussels sprouts and broccoli together as the mixture of scents will cut down on the amount of pests that are likely to attack the plants.
Not so long ago I teased out the seedlings and planted them in to pots to give them a bit of room to grow. Since then I lost of couple of Brussels sprout plants to slug attacks – something I’ll have to bare in mind for later on. Planting Brussels sprouts and broccoli is very simple, just dig a hole big enough for the root stock, place the plant in the hole and cover well. I’ve mulched the surface of the bed with some goodness from the compost bin, I’m hoping this will retain water and keep the weeds down.
Brussels sprouts and broccoli are both from Brassica oleracea specie so it’s safe to say that they’re both likely to attract the same pests.
Brassica pests and diseases
Slugs: It’s no surprise that slugs will try and go for my plants, they eat anything in their path and the sprouts and broccoli are clear targets. I’ve peppered the bed with slug pellets to try and keep damage to a minimal.
Flea Beetle: I think these are already attacking my broad beans, you know you’ve got flea beetle to deal with when you notice little white holes in the leaves of your plants. As I’ve said before, I’ve planted broccoli and sprouts together to use the mixture of scents to confuse flea beetles and any other pests.
Pigeons and butterflies: Pigeons and butterflies love sprouts, broccoli, cabbages and cauliflower and they’ll soon make short work of your plants if you’re not careful. I’ve put together a rudimentary frame and covered the plants with netting to try and stop butterflies and pigeons getting in to eat the plants.