Winter colour on allotments

What colour would you call this path? I have to say that when I saw it last week I felt a bit … dazzled? It just seems too garish for an allotment, to me at least. Still, it’s not my path so I don’t have to worry about it.

On the other hand, a colour I’m particularly happy to see is this lovely shade of purple which is glowing gently from the brassica corner – my purple Brussels sprouts didn’t blow at all and look lovely, tightly-budded little beauties that they are. I wonder why though? Do they take up nitrogen better than the green ones or perhaps they need less of it? I have no idea why they stayed as tight as buttons while the green Brussels sprouts with which they are inter-planted went off in big rose-like blowing frenzies. Does anybody else know what the answer is?

I’ll tell you what though, that dried blood did the trick. Once I’d picked off all the blown sprouts (and stir fried them, waste not, want not!) and sprinkled dried blood and watered it in (and what a stinking job that is) the sprouts higher up the green Brussels stems are just as unblown as the purple ones. Lesson learned for next year: stake better, lime more, and ensure that if they start to blow I take remedial action on day one.

I suspect that to keep the colour in the purple Brussels they will need to be steamed rather than boiled, so I might try a test run this weekend when I go up to get some more Jerusalem artichokes to make soup. I want to have purple vegetables on our Christmas dinner table, and I’m hoping for both purple sprouting broccoli and purple Brussels sprouts. The first broccoli floret has appeared, so the timing is looking good.

Still no frost to kill off the whitefly though … but lots of rain to wash them away. And we lifted our bean frame this week, so that we can put it in its new location once we’ve manured the soil where it’s going to go. If it every stops raining, we might be able to get on with things a bit!

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Friday, November 27, 2009


OpenID said...

Oh..and I think the path is a lovely splash of colour for this time of year...I would definitely say it's red!

November 28, 2009 at 2:38 AM  
OpenID said...

I didn't even know you could get purple sprouts...shows what a lame gardener I am!!!!

November 28, 2009 at 2:38 AM  
Blogger Jo said...

Hope the rain has stopped in your neck of the woods, sadly it hasn't here so no allotment trip for me this weekend. Your sprouts are looking good, your Christmas dinner plate is going to be very colourful.

November 29, 2009 at 2:08 AM  
Blogger Paula said...

I would call that path Alabama Clay....which grows incredibly good tomatoes, by the way.

November 29, 2009 at 1:38 PM  
Blogger The Allotment Blogger said...

Hmm, obviously everybody else is a cheerier soul than me! I shall try to get used to the red path.

Purple sprouts are a bit of a rarity, but ours are heritage seeds that we picked up at a seed swap - the brussels sprouts themselves are a good bit smaller than green ones.

December 1, 2009 at 8:47 AM  
Anonymous Rainwater Harvesting for gardens said...

Here in the UK this winter we had -17C at 1pm for days plus 2ft of snow. My Purple Sprouting Broccoli looked fine at first, but after 2 weeks of thaw, it hasn’t survived. The thick main stems have gone to mush. This is the first winter that I have lost the crop and I was so looking forward to my first taste.
On the other hand, the Arucola, whose seeds I brought back from a rainwater harvesting trip to Southern Italy, has survived magnificently and is growing back vigorously from the base. The Italians told me that it would never survive in the UK!

January 24, 2011 at 12:15 AM  

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