A sad tale today people. Regular readers will know that on a trip to Poland to visit Eddy, I was inspired to start growing vegetables, so had a herd of cauliflower & broccoli seeds and some seed potatoes. Out of 50 odd Broccoli seeds only one grew, but did OK, and nearly 100 cauliflowers seeds leapt into action and I ended up running out of big plant pots (and space) so could only accommodate 12, and chose the best looking healthiest specimens. I gave them liquid food every 2 weeks and they grew beautifully, big leaves, lots of leaves, the rain doing them good. Just before I went to dog-sit down south for Ben, I noticed 2 of the cauli’s now had heads appearing, so, having researched cauliflower husbandry on google, I tied some of the plants leaves over them, as this keeps the cauliflower white, apparently they go brown if you don’t. Chuffed factor 10! Off I went to Ben’s, Phil dutifully taking on the watering duties. When I got home they looked a bit wilted, and I knew Phil had done the watering and anyway, plenty of rain going on most days, but they also had lots of holes in the leaves. I examined under the leaves and found a group of teeny tiny little yellow eggs, but on one leaf of one plant. I took them off straight away and sprayed my plants with a non-PC bug spray. (Sorry organic people, I know you can bugger about making up garlic or special detergent non harmful repellants, but I wanted these bugs annihilated with chemicals!) But still my plants looked more wilted each day. Then last weekend I noticed one plant was drooping, and where the stem had moved away from the soil I could see these wiggly horrid maggoty things. Major freak out!! I checked all the stems and they all were in the same boat. Disgusted factor 10! So back to google, and there I find there is something called a cabbage fly, and it is cunningly disguised as a house fly so you don’t notice or worry if one lands on a plant. But these cabbage fly buggers lay their eggs in soil, not just any soil mind, but soil where cabbages, caulis’s broccoli and that kind of veg grows. Apparently the maggoty things eat through the roots and kill the plant. Just to add insult to injury they are indestructible. No pesticide, bug spray home made organic shit will knock them off. You can remove them and another shed load will hatch the next day. Nothing for it but to bin the plants. All the bloody research I did on google about how to look after them and no-one mentioned a sodding cabbage fly! I, of course never typed in ‘what kind of maggoty things will kill your veg’ in the search engine so it’s my own fault. All that time and effort thwarted by maggots. Not to mention the spending on seeds, pots, compost, feed. Goddamit!!
Farewell Cauliflower Cheeses