Tag Archive nine star perennial broccoli


Cabbage Experiment (Mixed Results So Far), Potato Onions and Brassica Cuttings

I’ve spent quite a bit of time (nearly a year now) on one of my favourite experiments. According to Bill Mollison (one of the two founders of permaculture) you can grow a cabbage, chop its head off, watch 4 or 5 new small cabbage heads appear where the main one once was and then remove them, bung them in the soil and grow new cabbages. Well, I set about confirming this (what appears to be a little dodgy) information by trying it out, in reality, in my back garden. I choppped the heads off two of my greyhound cabbages, waited for multiple small ones to regrow and removed them carefully using my thumbnail to get in right up against the main stalk of the plant. From previous experience taking cuttings from perennial kales & kailaan I know it is at this point that roots will grow, where the cutting meets the main stalk. Read More


More Fun With Broccoli and Geoff Lawton’s Videos are Back

Nine Star Broccoli Ready For HarvestingFirst off, thank you Jenny for going round the internet telling people you like my blog.

I’ve already harvested over 2 kilos (4.4 lbs) of broccoli from my “nine star broccoli” plants. I have four of them and they are a perennial variety (if you remove all flowering parts). I got the first two over the interweb and one died after I harvested the broccolis, mostly I think because of slug attacks and my harvesting reduced its reserves so much it gave up the ghost. The last one I took cuttings from last spring, planted them out and this year they are producing really nicely. Not as nicely however as the mother plant which is a real giant and producing lots of broccolis. The parts you take cuttings from for propagation are sideshoots which appear from the main stem. Just rip them off where they touch the main stem and bung them in compost. They (like other brassicas) take about one month to put on roots and new growth. Once they have grown on a bit put them in the ground and look after them as if they were seedlings. Read More


Nine Star Broccoli Curds Appearing

Nine Star Broccoli CurdNine Star Broccoli seems a bit misnamed. Though the plant looks like a purple sprouting broccoli by its tall stalk and green leaves, its spears (or what I call curds) look and taste like cauliflower. So because its edible (as opposed to inedible) parts are cauli like I tend to refer to it as a type of cauli. Unlike the cauli though (but like the broccoli) it has side shoots that are also tasty little curds. They are now starting to appear on my plants now it is early april. For some reason I thought they would appear in June, so I am a little surprised, but I have responded to this event by fertilising them with the little fertilising material I have left. Read More


Allotment Update 24/3/14

Leeks, Perennial Leeks, Elephant GarlicThis is my first allotment update of the year. Please don’t judge it by its looks as it’s early days. My overwintering food – perennial kales, leeks and perennial leeks – are providing me with lots of food and though I want to preserve the perennial kales (in place) the leeks I want to lift so I can grow new things in the space, most probably peas or broad beans. Some of the leeks I am going to leave where they are even though they will go to seed in, probably, May. I want to save seed and also collect the “king pods” which form at the base of bolting leeks. Read More


A Talk by Pennard Plants

I got my daubenton kale plants from a nursery near Shepton Mallet called Pennard Plants. Daubenton is very important to me because it is a well supported perennial kale that never flowers. Well when I saw a notice up saying there was going to be a talk by Pennard Plants in Bath I was excited and hoped there would be some discussion on perennial vegetables. It couldn’t have gone better for me. Read More


Looking back at my gardening year, 2013

So, what have I learnt from the past year? Well, as usual my gardening year hasn’t provided the sort of yield I wanted, or if gardening magazines are to be believed I should expect. I don’t know why I should expect my gardening abilities to be as great as Monty Don or Geoff Lawton, especially only being 5 years in, I am a beginner. I do of course hamper myself with ridiculous rules like not importing fertility, especially as I am practically guaranteed to have awesome crops if I dump half a ton of horse manure on the allotment. Read More


Overwintering African Blue Basil, Comparing Squashes and Testing Compost

My African Blue Basil cuttings which I took in October are romping away now in their tiny modules on my kitchen window sill. They were taken as an insurance policy against my basil bush dying. The African Blue is a perennial basil and a plant you can overwinter here indoors in the UK but I always find the lovely big bushes I buy always die in the autumn. I know it is easier to keep cuttings alive and this seems to be true in this case, they are doing well so far. Read More


Annuals vs Perennials

Perennial vegetable growing is a bit of a buzzword for permaculture types and very often the question is asked – why are annual veggies grown when perennial ones are just so much easier and sustainable?. Take rhubarb and asparagus, frinstance, very traditional perennial veg that everyone knows about – big yields and very popular on allotments everywhere. Why have we not replaced all our annuals with such fine perennial equivalents? Read More

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