Saturday, May 30, 2015

Weeds and the Kale Bed

I've been doing a lot of weeding over the last couple of days. Mainly because we had one coolish day. Yesterday I didn't need to rush to open all my windows early in the morning to cool down the house, then watch the weather and when it started to heat up, close all those windows and the blinds to keep the cool air in. I could keep the windows open all day long and listen to the birds sing. And be in the garden without overheating.

This morning I had a different kind of weeding. My neighbors have a tree that neither of us like particularly. I've been invited over in the past to cut it down when I asked. But it is persistent. I forgot last fall, so this year it is pretty big. I cut off all the branches that were overhanging my fence. Which really is good enough for now.

The straightest sticks of a decent diameter (not too large, not too small), I kept for stakes. They aren't perfectly straight like my bamboo, but not bad.

This morning I pulled off the row cover to my kale and cabbage bed so I could pick the kale. While I was under there I checked out the rest of the bed.

I'm trialing three early cabbages side by side this year. Point One is supposedly a very quick cabbage from Pinetree. I didn't give them as much space as the others. They are supposed to be small and quick. This and the others were planted 46 days ago. They say it is ready in 48. I'm not buying it. But they have started heading up. As you can see it is a pointed head type of cabbage. As is the next one. I have four of these and they are all at the exact same stage. They are a very pretty blue green.

Early Jersey Wakefield is listed at at 63 days. Like the previous cabbage, it has barely started to head up. I planted three of this variety and they are all exactly alike.

The last one is the only round cabbage in the bunch. It is Golden Acre. It is listed at 62 days. This one looks like it is the farthest ahead of all the cabbages. True to its name it is a slightly yellowish cabbage and looks really pretty.

The problem is of the three Golden Acre that I planted, two look like this. This is damage from cutworms. If they can't cut something off at the soil level, they will climb the plants. They like to get into the center and eat that as it is the most tender. I'm not sure if the two plants can recover.

I intercrop turnips in my cabbages. If the cutworms are there, they usually go after the turnips as the turnips are so tender. They leave the cabbages alone. Sadly they really like the Golden Acre. To be fair to the cabbage though it has been the worst cutworm season ever in this garden. I used to have really bad cutworms all the time at my last house, but here they don't seem to be as prevalent. Except this year. I might have to start planting in cutworm collars again.


  1. I envy the windows- open approach :) Too darn hot here now for that. A little rain would be nice too. I have a few cutworms on our cabbages and have been trying to keep a close eye on them. They should be coming out of the ground pretty soon anyway.

  2. Other than the cutworm damage I think your cabbages look great. Days to harvest info never seems to be accurate, unfortunately. Cutworms have been more numerous in my garden this year also. They have favored my heading lettuces. It's so disgusting to find one that has chewed it's way into a head of lettuce.

  3. We live just outside of Wakefield! No chance of overheating in our garden it it two jersey weather, Your plants are racing ahead,

  4. Your cabbages look great - I'm surprised at the early days to harvest on them, especially Point One. Obviously, they are not always accurate - or maybe the are, but only under perfect conditions that are not often replicated in a typical home garden. And those turnips look amazing - hopefully the cutworms don't find them!

  5. Gosh, your cabbages are beautiful!
    I planted 4 butternut seedlings this morning, trying to beat the rain - which I did, and even managed to plant a block of sweet corn, too! - and just as I was about to put away the tools I went back to the house for a toilet paper tube to make into cutworm collars. I don't know if cutworms only attack certain kinds of plants, but better safe than sorry.