What are brassica seeds?
Brassicas are a group of leafy green vegetables that include veg patch favourites like cabbage, kale and broccoli. Brassica seeds are best sown undercover in spring. These vegetables generally need a long growing period and show great winter hardiness. Crops like purple sprouting broccoli and kale can provide fresh harvests from winter through to early spring.
How to grow brassicas from seed
Sow your brassica seeds in a pre-prepared seedbed or under glass. Sow your seeds in rows half an inch deep, leaving around 30cm apart. Make sure the seed compost is damp and expect to see germination within two weeks of sowing. Transplant your brassica seedlings into their final positions in early summer, choosing a spot that hasn’t had brassicas for a few years to avoid disease. It’s a good idea to cover the young plants with a fine mesh to keep pigeons away from the tender young leaves and deter smaller pests like cabbage fly.
Choose a final position for your young brassica plants that hasn't held brassicas for the past two years to avoid soil diseases like clubroot that can affect growth. Make sure the soil is fertile with plenty of organic matter mixed through. Add a thick layer of mulch to keep your plants moist through the summer.
When to sow brassica seeds
Sow your brassica seeds in spring between February and May. Either sow your brassica seeds in a propagator or under glass early in the year. Direct sow your seeds outdoors or sow into a seed bed from May onwards after the last frost date.