Monday, 21 April 2014

Teased by the Weather

I supposed I’d have to say Easter Sunday was typical Bank Holiday weather. Most of the day was cloudy with enough dampness in the air at lunchtime to wet the ground but not disturb my rain gauge. It was enough to put us off visiting the plot. Then like Saturday late in the afternoon the cloud broke up a bit and the sun broke through.
I made use of the late afternoon sunshine by sowing our second set of brassicas in the greenhouse.
Brussels sprout - Crispus together with cabbage - Kilaton and cauliflower - Clapton are all club root resistant varieties. We've planted these varieties for a number of year now and they have lived up to their club root resistant tag. Huzaro is a variety of red cabbage and touch wood we haven’t had any problems with this variety.

If you've never had club root then you really should look after your patch and do all you can to avoid introducing this disease. Nowadays there are no chemical controls for club root and the spores of the disease are able to remain active in the soil for up to 20 years. Once you’ve got club root you’re very much stuck with it.

There are a few measures to take to try to reduce the effects one of which is liming the soil and growing plants in good quality compost to a reasonable size before planting them out.
This is how your brassicas look when club root takes hold. Planted last year, this bed was supposed to be our over wintering cabbages and this is how they looked by November 2013. These weren't club root resistant varieties as the temptation is always to try some different varieties as the list of resistant brassicas is very limited. 

What makes our problem frustrating is knowing which beds have the club root spores in them and which are clean. Wallflowers are also subject to club root and if you look closely at the photo above the bed at the top of the picture has wallflowers planted in it. 
This is how our wallflowers look now. They've gone on to produce excellent plants and are flowering just as we had hoped. In the top right of this picture are the remains of our club root infected cabbage plants that still need tidying up. I need to ensure that I clean any equipment used to dig the infected bed before using it on any other part of the plot. The roots of the plants and any weeds removed will be added into the Council’s Waste Recycling bin to avoid further contamination. 

There’s more information on club root on the RHS web site here.


  1. Such a shame you've got club root. I hope it doesn't spread. How do you find the resistant varieties? Are they actually resistant?

    1. Club root resistant varieties are listed in the seed catalogues CJ. It's not often we loose a crop to club root sometimes the plants manage to grow with the disease and produce a worthwhile crop. The resistant varieties do seem to live up to their reputation.

  2. I never heard about club roots before! Hope your plants grows well!

    1. It's just one of those problems gardeners have to work around Malar.


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