When you look at the tops of the plants they don't look too bad. In my photos the leaves are glossy and glistening because I had just sprayed them with very dilute washing-up liquid, to reduce the Whitefly infestation. I don't think you can see any Whitefly in this photo:
But look down below and you'll see the results of their presence - many of the leaves (particularly the stems) are covered in black sooty mould, which grows on the euphemistically-named "Honeydew" excreted by these pests. Not a pretty sight.
But more to the point, the sprouts themselves are tiny! They are currently about the size of a pea.
This year, the Brussels Sprout plants have grown ever so slowly, and I'm not really sure why. I have done all the usual things I do with brassicas - fed them, watered them, protected them from Cabbage Root Fly and butterflies - but still they have proved reluctant to develop. All I can think of is that maybe the weather conditions didn't suit them. There is one other possibility: all 3 of my plants were grown from seeds left over from the previous year. Could it be that they had lost some of their vigour?
The reason why I think that maybe the weather is the reason why the Sprouts have been slow to develop is that the Leeks have done the same. I put 5 Leeks along each side of the bed where my PSB is growing, but they have done just about nothing. Just sat there sulking!
|This one is (ironically) a "Winter Giant"!|
The best Leeks are in one of my containers, though even these are hardly prize-winning specimens:
At least a couple of them appear vaguely Leek-shaped!
So, small Sprouts, small Leeks; what do you think the PSB will be like? Hopefully a lot better!
The PSB in the photo above is a "Red Spear", which is looking pretty good so far, and has lots of shoots appearing now. Next to the chilli, Purple Sprouting Broccoli is the vegetable I see as being most representative of me and my veg-plot, so there is always a bit of added pressure to get some good stuff to show off. I'll be nurturing these plants, that's for sure!