During the summer, when the weather does not always provide
those rainy periods at the time we need them most, we gardeners have to be
swift to act and seize the right moment to do our various jobs of sowing and
planting. When a fall of rain has brought the surface soil into just the
right state for planting, all other garden work should be set aside to make
the most of an opportunity that may not come again until the seedling plants
have passed the best stage for planting out. If nature fails to oblige, then
we have to choose between waiting for rain and risking the plants remaining
in the seed-beds, or watering the ground thoroughly before planting. With
kale and sprouting broccoli, two very useful vegetables for after Christmas,
this is a decision we often have to make.
The middle of the month is the time to plant them, in rows 2 ft. apart each
way; if there is sufficient room, allow 2 ft. 6 in. each way. The Ministry's
plan for a 300 sq. yd. plot recommends two rows of each, which should
provide a good supply of green-stuff lasting well into next spring.
These brassicas should be planted in a shallow drill about 2 in.
deep and 3 or 4 in. wide. This not only helps to direct moisture towards the
roots of the plants, but it makes it easier to draw soil up to the stems,
thus helping to keep the plants from blowing over on gusty days later in the
The Ministry's plan also provides for three rows of winter
cabbages, and mid-July is the time for planting them out (2 ft. apart
each way) in the shallow drills already described.