Sunday, 27 November 2011

Cavolo Nero

My cavolo nero is still going strong. I've got three plants which I've been picking from throughout the summer, yet there's still plenty to harvest. One problem I always seem to have with cavolo nero is whitefly, I think I'll have to plant some marigolds close by next year as this should keep the whitefly away. I do net the cavolo nero to keep the Cabbage White butterflies off them, but my netting must still be allowing the whitefly to pass through, I think only Enviromesh would keep them out, but it's very expensive so I'll have to rely on companion planting.

Another plant which is doing really well is curly kale. There wasn't room in my brassica cage for the plants so they haven't been netted at all, but they haven't had any damage to them. I don't think the pests like them. I've picked a good bunch for tea, it's a vegetable which all the family enjoy.

I nearly got blown away when I visited the allotment today, the winds are really strong. The temperature has dropped too, though we still haven't had a frost, could it be that winter is finally on it's way?

18 comments:

  1. I keep saying I want to plant this next year but don't think I have the room.

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  2. My kale's under environmesh and still has some whitefly, I just cut the worst infested leaves off and wash any pickings well before they go in the steamer. I must try Cavolo Nero sometime, it looks good!

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  3. I don't think there's ANYTHING that keeps whitefly off. I remember seeing the gardener on 'Jamie at Home' sucking them up with a hoover, which is probably quite effective, but there's nowhere to plug one in at the allotment!

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  4. I'm also a fan of Cavolo Nero, but I treat it as an Autumn / Winter crop, and never have any ready during the Summer.
    How do you cook it? Got any nice recipes?

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  5. There's a noticable frost here this morning for the first time this autumn. Flighty xx

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  6. Your C.Nero is looking great - mine suffered a lot during the summer so the plants are quite small still with not a lot worth picking, maybe they'll carry on growing through the winter. Apparently the Irish blogging contingent use it in Champ.

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  7. It was windy today wasn't it? After a whitefly less summer they seem to have homed in now. Our curly kale was left alone too.

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  8. My cavolo nero has been great this year. I picked the small leaves over the summer and used them in pasta dishes and omlettes. They're still going strong. Although I did plant too many. My haven't been covered and have quite a lot of white fly but they don't seem to be causing the plants any problems so I'm not bothered.

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  9. Your cavalo nero looks good Jo. I had seeds but never got round to sowing them this year :( My kale has all been eaten bar one plant. It has been very windy here for a few days now - winter is definitely on its way! Wonder if you have had that first frost yet?

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  10. The gales in Northern Ireland have been fierce as well. Interesting to read about your kale. My curly kale hasn't much pest interest however I can't find a way i like to cook it. I prefer the flat leaf kale (Nero di Toscana) for cooking. I add it to casseroles, stews and soups. However baby slugs love my flat leaf kale.

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  11. It does take up a bit of space, and it grows quite tall too, Becky, but it has a long cropping season and is good through the winter months too.

    It's interesting to hear that Enviomesh still doesn't keep the whitefly off, Damo. I'm glad I didn't waste any money buying it.

    It looks like it's down to giving the leaves a good wash before cooking, Rachael. I'll try companion planting next year and see if that makes any difference.

    My cavolo nero has done brilliantly this year, Mark. I've been picking it through summer and it should last in to winter too. I usually have it to accompany a roast dinner or add it to an omlette.

    It's amazing that you're ahead of us with the first frost, Flighty. We still haven't had one.

    I'm sure it will continue to grow, Elaine. Most people use cavolo nero as a winter crop so there's plenty of time for it to put on some growth yet.

    It was really windy yesterday, Sue, and torrential rain too. It's really brightened up today though. I didn't notice any whitefly through summer either but they're certainly making their presence felt now.

    The whitefly don't seem to cause any problems, Wellywoman, it's just so annoying washing them all off before cooking, it can be quite offputting. I haven't thought of using it in pasta dishes before, I'll have to try it.

    Still no frost here, Anna. We had high winds and rain yesterday, but it's glorious again today.

    I just boil my curly kale for a few minutes before serving with a roast dinner, Kelli. It's one of the few vegetables which all the family enjoy so it's definitely worth growing.

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  12. I also have three Cavolo Neros on my plot but I'll bet they'll be horizontal by the time this wind is through with them! They're really tasty in a German dish called Gr√ľnkohl - have you heard of it? You serve it up with sausages and potatoes. Here's a recipe similar to the one I use.

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  13. Hope the wind hasn't caused too much damage, Tanya. It's died down here now, but I haven't been to the allotment yet so I'm hoping that everything is ok. I've never heard of Grunkohl, thanks for the recipe, I'll check it out.

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  14. I have missed growing this veg in my garden this year, last year I had loads of the stuff.

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  15. I didn't get round to sowing the seeds this year so recently popped in a couple of seedlings that I bought. Hoping that they'll survive the winter to give me some lovely spring veg. My C Nero survived the winter before last and perked up nicely once the ground defrosted! Nigel Slater has a recipe for Kale and Mushroom lasagne in Veg Every Day which I've been meaning to try. P.S. My calendula is still going strong and seems to be working as a companion plant!

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  16. You do tend to miss things when you're used to growing them, Shaheen. There's always next year.

    Cavolo nero seems to stand up to the winter weather well, Caro. You should have some to harvest in spring when it's a lean time in the veg garden. Interesting to hear that the calendula is working as a companion plant, I hope it works for me too.

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  17. Your plants do look really strong. It's such a stalwart plant in the winter.
    Snow here today, and severe gales forecast. Yes, I think it's winter at last.

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  18. Winter's definitely here, Linda. We had a little snow flurry the other day, nothing to write home about though, but we also have strong winds forcast for later on today. I'm going to take Archie for a good walk this morning before the gales start, he doesn't like going out in the wind.

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