Group discussion > How do I grow good healthy cabbages and related family greens

How do I grow good healthy cabbages and related family greens

dave
1787 days ago

What is the secret of growing good healthy greens please My soil is mainly clay so maybe that some of the problem.

I am growing in raised beds which I believe should be better? Yes or No?

BigGee
1786 days ago

Brassicas need a slightly alkaline soil Dave. They also need to be crop rotated to lower the risk of soil borne problems like club root, which is a soil borne fungus that is almost impossible to eradicate.

The cabbage family will fail (or at least not thrive) if the soil is too acidic so add lime to the soil if necessary, aiming for a pH of 6.5-7.5.

Clay soil is fine for brassicas - as long as it isn't acidic. It anchors the plants well and is usually nutrient rich, because the nutrients don't leach out as quickly as they do in sandy or peaty soils.

raised beds are fine - as long as the soil isn't too loose. Anchorage is important for brassicas (especially tall members of the family - like sprouts or kale).

Check your soil pH and lime it if it's a bit acidic - before you plant the brassicas out. Traditionally, gardeners sprinkle lime on the surface in early spring to allow it to permeate in with rain before planting.

Being big green leaved plants brassicas also do well if grown in a nitrogen rich medium. It's always a good idea to grow them in soil that was used for legumes (peas, beans etc.) the season before, because most legumes are nitrogen "fixing" plants that enrich the soil with nitrogen.

I wrote a fact-sheet on the subject of fertilizers & lime in the past. Click on this link to view it:

aeronvale-allotments.org.uk/pdfs/fertilizers_and_lime_info.pdf

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