June 21, 2017
Some plants give more than others. Whilst a radish is over a month after its short life began, a spring onion can be cut off above the roots and will regrow again and again. A tomato plant will provide many suckers that will root themselves into a new plant simply by cutting them off and poking them into some good soil. Cabbage will provide mini cabbages after the main head is cut, perfect for a stir fry mix. This is happening right now on the farm as you can see in the picture above. Broccoli does the same. Many greens like parsley, rocket and spinach will regrow after they are cut.
However, if you expect any vegetable to provide you with a second crop you need to feed it after the first harvest. By harvesting you are taking away some of the plant’s nutrients and ability to feed itself through photosynthesis. Often when you trim a plant above ground, a similar proportion of roots die below ground. This impacts the plant’s ability to take up water and nutrients from the soil. Therefore, a dose of seaweed for root development and plant health, as well as a liquid fertiliser poured over the leaves and soil, will help the plant to put out a flush of new growth. This creates your second harvest.
It is the same for veggies like kale and silverbeet that you pick over a 4-6 month period. To keep them producing well, you need to remove the old leaves, harvest those that are ready, and then feed up the remaining baby leaves to ensure good growth and development.
So, start with compost and water well, but don’t forget to continue to give your plants some loving as they grow if you want to harvest for more than a month or two.
Yours in veg,