This is the journal of my endeavours to grow a range of fruit, veg and flowers from seed, grow organically, and my attempts to create a personal paradise with 1/2 acre of maintained gardens and 1/2 acre wild meadows. Northern Ireland's average daily high temperatures are 18 °C (64 °F) in July and 6 °C (43 °F) in January. Soil type: Clay

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Veg Update (Kale,Broccoli, Rhubarb)

Kale 'Nero di Toscana'
I'm relatively new to growing veg. This year I grew kale and broccoli for the first time. Growing veg I often find myself asking questions like:

"When is it ready to eat?" "When is it inedible?"
"Is that the way it should look?" etc.

A few more questions below...

Above: Is it normal for kale to have a long 'trunk' like this? Suppose I pick leaves from the bottom so naturally this shape results?
You might also spot my poor little leeks in this photo - quite small!
Kale starting to flower - does this mean it's no longer good for eating? 
Above: Kale Curly Scarlet - plenty of this in the veg box.
I have to admit I'm not too keen on the texture when its cooked.
Under the kale, you might spot celeriac leaves (which I should have harvested ages ago).
Above: Broccoli forever flowering!
My first year growing broccoli. I harvested very little before it began flowering. I've left it to flower, which it has been doing for months! I have to admit - I do like the flowers!
Rhubarb is starting to emerge!


  1. Do you know, my broccoli ended up like that too. And I just left the flowers to do their own thing. Must admit I really struggle to grow veg, but I keep trying.

  2. Your rhubarb is way ahead of ours, Kelli. I'm forcing some of ours this year. That is if I can keep the hens away from it in the meantime.

  3. No sign of my rhubarb either and also no sign of PSB yet either my veg are obviously way behind yours. I grew scarlet kale because it looks lovely in the garden but I find it pretty tasteless really.

  4. Your vegetables doing good! I never have the luck to harvest broccoli. All i have is the leaves.

  5. Our rhubarb is just starting to show signs of growth. I suppose it's about the right time. If our broccoli spears start to flower I usually cut them off back near the stem. Sometimes it regrows some new spears but not always. We grow kale too but it's not our favourite vegetable. If it's all we have we use some but as a last resort. Our spring broccoli looks like it might be ready for next autumn.

  6. Kale can grow with a long trunk, mine do eventually get some trunk at the bottom but I haven't had any with quite a long one as that. I think it's absolutely fine though, so long as the leaves taste good. I would cut the flowers off and carry on picking. Everything gets eaten here until the time when it doesn't taste good anymore. Snap with the leeks, mine are thin spindly things and I have to pick loads for each dinner. It's a good job that I planted plenty.

  7. I'm sure your small leeks will be delicious.

  8. Interesting. I've never grown kale, so I would be just as surprised as you! My broccoli is making now - I'm hoping it doesn't start flowering soon. Your scarlet kale is very pretty. Too bad you don't like the texture.

  9. Your vegetable garden is very attractive with all those colors! I am not experienced growing kale since I am not that keen on eating it. I have grown broccoli before. Broccoli will bolt when the soil gets too warm. It is best to harvest early. It is a cut and come again vegetable so you can get more than one harvest.