are a few hints that may help to eke out your supplies of winter greens on
the plot. While you still have late cabbages of your own growing, or you can
still buy a fairly good selection of vegetables, leave your own kales,
sprouting broccoli and savoys for as long as you can, so narrowing the gap
until next season's crops begin to come in. With kale, cut the top of the
plant first for consumption. The stem pushes out short shoots that should be
picked off for use, and this encourages other shoots to grow and provide
supplies until quite late April or even into May. The sprouting broccoli
shoots are made at the point where the leaves join the stem, and as these
are picked further shoots are made that keep things going for quite a long
Don't be tempted to lift your leeks too soon just to make variety
in your diet; leave them to grow, for they will keep quite well where they
are until March or April, when you may be glad of them.
Some war-time gardeners seem to be doubtful whether to tops of
Brussels sprout plants make good eating. They do—at the right time. But it's
not wise to cut them at this time of the season because they are necessary
to the plant's growth and in severe weather will protect the sprouts below.
March is quite early enough for Brussels tops.
Spinach beet should be allowed to rest now so that it can gather strength
for next spring's push. Clear the plants of leaves at the last picking, and
"pick" the stems rather than cut them, since a broken end seems better able
to resist the downward spread of rot than if you cut it.
Spinach beet is pretty hardy, but a sever winter can put
paid to it. So if the weather looks like being heard, give the stripped
plants some protection, such as straw or bracken.