Last October I blogged about the five wild cabbage plants I had grown. I wasn't sure how perennial the plants would prove to be and wrote that I would just have to wait and see what they did. So here is an update to show you what they've done so far.
The plants grew bigger and gave us lots of leaves to eat last winter and produced broccoli-like shoots that we ate early last spring.
All five plants went on to flower in late spring with yellow flowers. When the first flush of flowers appeared I nipped them off individually as I'd read that the plants are less likely to die if they aren't allowed to go to seed (sorry for the lack of a 'before' picture but you can probably just see a few yellow flowers that I missed!) More appeared and I cut those off too. Yet more appeared and I started going over the plants with the garden shears!
I let one plant go to seed hoping to observe what difference this would make.
It appeared to have died but then it started to shoot from the main stem. Unfortunately these shoots have lately begun to die, possibly due to summer drought. I'd rather not have the work of trimming the flowers off the plants, and it would be better for the insects if I didn't, so it will be interesting to see whether this plant recovers in the damper weather.
Gradually the plants ceased their attempts to flower but were left looking rather ragged.
Some were more ragged than others.
I decided to cut this one right back to see if that would encourage it to sprout fresh shoots.
I'm pretty sure I've killed it!
The three remaining plants began to pick up in late summer.
One is still looking a bit patchy.
The other two look pretty leafy.
So it looks like we will be feeding on wild cabbage leaves and flower shoots for another winter and spring - and then I'll see what the plants do after that!
(Wild cabbage update 2 here.)
N.B. I sell a range of perennial vegetable plants on my website.