Sunday, 10 May 2015

Planting For Christmas

Christmas may seem a way off yet but when you're wanting to grow part of your Christmas dinner, it has to be thought about well in advance. I've decided that this year I'd like to grow Brussels sprouts. It's not a vegetable I usually grow, in fact, it isn't a vegetable I buy all that often as the rest of my family won't eat them. I do insist that we always have them with Christmas dinner though, it wouldn't be Christmas without them.

I sowed some seed of a variety called Evesham Special at the end of March but I'm never particularly successful when it comes to sowing brassicas so when we visited Harlow Carr in April and saw some seedlings of the very same variety for sale on one of the plant stands at the Spring Gardening and Wildlife Weekend I decided to buy some. I also purchased some kale seedlings. This is asparagus kale, something I've never tried before. Aparently, the new shoots of this kale taste of asparagus so I'm looking forward to trying it.


Instead of planting them straight out, I potted on the seedlings in to larger pots and they've now put on a lot of growth. They're ready for planting out but their bed is only half dug so they'll have to wait a little longer. Kale on the left, Brussels sprouts on the right.


The allotment has taken a bit of a back seat so far this year as we've had other things on and my dad has very recently been rushed in to hospital so nearly everything is on hold at the moment. We're not sure how long he's going to be in for but I shall be trying to keep up with my blog as well as reading posts on the other blogs which I follow. I may not have time to comment as often as I usually do though so I hope you understand.

30 comments:

  1. I am sorry to hear that your dad is in hospital. I hope that he is soon on the mend - hospital visiting is draining so take care.

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    1. You're right, it is. We're still unsure what's wrong but he's not in the best of health to start with so it's a worrying, as well as draining, time.

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  2. I do hope that your Dad will be OK and out of hospital very soon. xx

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    1. Thank you. We're still in the early stages so we're unsure about everything at the moment but it's very worrying.

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  3. I hope your dad will soon be on the mend. Take care Jo.

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    1. Thank you. He's in good spirits now they've got the pain under control but it's still very worrying.

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  4. Sorry to hear about your Dad jo, I hope everything all goes well for him.

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    1. Thank you. I know he's in the best place for him. Hospital visiting is so stressful though.

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  5. Firstly Jo, I hope that Dad is able to leave hospital soon. So worrying for you and your family
    Of course we understand, goes without saying.....

    I love brussel sprouts.......especially at Christmas.

    Asparagus kale sounds interesting, never heard of that one !

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    1. Thank you. Brussels sprouts are one of my favourite veg, I wish the rest of the family liked them so that I could have them more often. I'd never heard of asparagus kale either but I googled it once I'd got home and it seems to be a favourite of many people once it's been discovered.

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  6. I really do understand the situation you are in concerning your Dad. You have to put him in Priority One position. I have a somewhat similar position with my MIL, who is very nearly 90 years old now. Hopefully thinking about your garden will take your mind off the Health situation once in a while!

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    1. It's a bit of a role reversal as our parents age, we seem to be caring for them more and more as time goes on. I think gardening is a great stress buster and good for taking your mind off your problems.

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  7. I'm really sorry that your dad has had to go into hospital, I hope all will be well soon. I wouldn't worry too much about the allotment, it will all be there waiting for you until you have some time to devote to it. CJ xx

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    1. Mick managed to spend an hour at the allotment yesterday in between hospital visiting and other commitments so at least the brassica bed is now dug over and I can get the plants in the ground. I think our time there is going to be very scarce until we find a little more time.

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  8. Asparagus Kale sounds interesting ...and I love brussel sprouts at Christmas.

    Sorry to hear about your dad, do hope all will be well soon ... kind thoughts coming your way.

    All the best Jan

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    1. I'd never heard of asparagus kale before so I'm looking forward to trying that, we love other types of kale. Thank you. I'm hoping that he's not in hospital too long, hospital visiting is very draining.

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  9. I'm sorry to read about your dad, and hope that all is okay soon. It'll be interesting to see how the asparagus kale does. Flighty xx

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    1. Thank you. I'm looking forward to seeing how the kale does too, I've never tried this variety before.

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  10. Those are some lovely seedlings. For some reason, my brassica seedlings are not doing very well this year. In my rush to make up for lost time, I think that I may not be looking after them as well as I should so that may have something to do with it.

    I do hope your dad is better and his time in the hospital is short. Of course, I'm sure that everyone understands that family is always the priority.

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    1. I never seem to do very well with brassica seedlings, I think buying young plants like I've done here is probably the best way to go for me. My dad's much better now than when he was first taken in to hospital so I'm hoping he'll be home soon.

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  11. Sorry to hear your dad is in hospital, it must be a very worrying time for you. I hope all is well and that he makes a complete recovery.
    I've never grown sprouts either, my family is the same as yours, I'm the only one who eats them but always have them on the table. Asparagus Kale sounds intriguing! I'm a huge asparagus fan, I wonder if it has a similar taste?xxx

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    1. Thank you. He's much better now and will hopefully be home soon. The asparagus kale is supposed to taste like asparagus so it will be interesting to see if it does.

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  12. Oh Jo I do hope that you Dad is on the mend and out of hospital before long. If my memory is correct he was unwell last year so it must be worrying for you. He will really be appreciating your visits. Hope that your sprouts do well. I've grown some flower sprouts - mixture of kale and sprouts and am looking forward to tasting them in due course. Need to start hardening them off now as they are growing quickly. Take care xxx

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    1. My dad isn't in the best of health ordinarily but he's on the mend from this recent episode and I'm hoping he'll be home soon. I don't know about flower sprouts so I shall look forward to hearing more about them.

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  13. Hi Jo, I hope all is now well and your Dad soon back home; as you know, I'm in a similar situation myself with elderly parents - thankfully not yet having to go into hospital but their care is always on my mind. I wish all of you the very best. Caro xx
    PS. Seems pointless to mention the sprouts but I did the same, bought a few plants, red sprouts, just for the winter colour! Asparagus kale sounds interesting …

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    1. Thank you. It's such a worry when our parent's health starts deteriorating, there isn't a week goes by these days that either my mum or dad doesn't have a doctor or hospital appointment. When something like this crops up out of the blue it's added worry and stress but I'm hoping that it won't be long now until he's back home again. Oooh, red sprouts, I like the sound of them. I shall look out for some young plants.

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  14. I'm sorry to hear about your dad Jo, it's an awful situation to be in & I hope your mother is coping. Your asparagus kale sounds interesting, I'm growing some sprouts for the first time so I will have to try them when they're ready x

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    1. Thank you. He's much better now so I'm hoping he'll be home soon. I'm never all that successful with brassicas so it will be interesting to see how these do.

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  15. Hey Jo,
    I'm sorry to hear about your Dad. Thanks for dropping by my blog and writing words of encouragement. Sending some Cornish love your way
    Leanne xx

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    1. Thank you. I think we've all been there when we've taken on a new allotment, it seems daunting. There's no getting away from the fact that the upkeep of an allotment is hard work but the benefits are definitely worth it.

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