Sunday, 7 November 2010

Broccoli (07 NOV 2010)

I once watched a repeat of Geoff Hamilton's Ornamental Kitchen Garden TV program, it was like I had discovered a kindred spirit. I was disappointed to find out that he had died. His philosophy was to grow vegetables organically amongst flowering plants. This confuses pests apparently.

I didn't intend to become an organic gardener. When I started in March, bought a bottle of fertiliser when I went shopping for compost. Never used it because it didn't feel like the right thing to do. The plants are growing fine without it so far as the garden hasn't been fully functional. Probably need to enrich the soil somehow next year though. Now that the leaves are falling, it seems sensible to return their goodness back to the soil rather than throw them away.

Geoff advised a pond of frogs would keep the snail & slug population under control. I haven't started digging a pond yet but I did plant romanesco broccoli amongst my flowers in the summer. Since the annuals died, the broccoli have flourished and now they are the highlights of the garden. Even though they keep getting attacked by slugs, snails and birds (assuming that slugs & snails aren't capable of ripping leaves to shreds), they continue to thrive. I keep checking for the conical-shaped florets because I am curious to see how they form - only found a baby snail so far. Broccoli is sometimes called winter cauliflower so maybe there's hope yet.

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