Once upon a time, there were two cabbage winter survivors in my garden: 1 solitary San Michele blush savoy and a row of Red Rock Mammoth red. I'd heard that cabbage is often self infertile or rejects its own pollen. If correct in the case of San Michele, this presented an opportunity.
The cabbage flowered, the bees buzzed, they set seed. It was beautiful weather for brassica pods and I got excellent yields saving each pod parent separately.
The following year, I sowed the hybrid affectionately named SMxRRMf1-savoypodmother and got clear indication of a hybrid. The result was not exactly like either parent but something in between. It was partially saved with deep purple veins throughout and bright green in between. It was also extremely vigorous.
I've never seen such a reliable, vigorous cabbage demonstrating hybrid vigour. I tried over wintering them. First year: failure. Second year: failure mostly though the one cabbage that survived amusingly reheaded a full sized head instead of flowering. Third year, I took cuttings, rooted them and planned on planting them out in the spring. Instead, they flowered indoors and I laboriously hand crossed them. The result: f2 seeds. And so the saga continues.
Winter 2013-2014: A tray of rooting side shoots. Same shoots flowering.
Alert! Alert! F2
Now that I know all sorts of Brassica oleracea tricks. Cuttings root easily. Those roots that look alive in the spring when you pull them? They are alive and will produce growth like the thongs of seakale. Etc…
At any rate, we begin 2015 with f2 seeds and now f2 seedlings. Looking forward to watching them grow.
All about growing, selecting and using edible plants in the Ottawa valley.