Why expand cabbages, and other brassica, from seed – when you can clone them! You basically dig up a cabbage root and break up the stem length-strategies in four, guaranteeing there is some root on each piece. Dip the pieces in a rooting compound and retail store them in a little bit moist sand indoors about wintertime. In spring, plant out the cuttings. It yields an similar clone of the cabbage.
You should not do it for way too a lot of decades, nevertheless, or you might facial area complications of ‘inbreeding depression’. That’s the result of developing on some species much too often from their possess saved seed, without having refreshing the geneplasm eg. by mixing it with seed developed somewhere else. The plant grows far more and a lot more feeble. But, for significant gardeners like you and me, cloning is very practical.
Why? Root division by this process is a large amount less difficult than making an attempt to acquire the seeds when they are created in calendar year two (brassica are biennials). It is really also priceless if you have a unusual or heirloom wide range of cabbage and want to increase it on perpetually. If you test performing this from seed you need to go to good labour to steer clear of cross-pollination which will demolish the purity of the strain. Brassica will cross-pollinate with connected versions up to a mile absent, even with wild turnip (rape).
Clone the plant instead. Never permit it go to seed. And you have no troubles.
Try out it with any brassica
You can test this cloning approach with practically any brassica – broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, collards or kale. It won’t operate with kohlrabi or lettuce, however. But then, several folks increase kohl-rabbi anyway and lettuces are not brassica.
It is really odd that no contemporary textbook writer appears to have read of ‘cloning a cabbage’. The concept has been all over for a very extensive time. Robert Thompson devoted a substantial section to this system in The Gardener’s Assistant, 1871.
A leaf stem was minimize from the brassica. They failed to have rooting compound in all those days, of course. As an alternative, the stem foundation was rolled in ‘newly slaked lime, dry wood ashes or powdered charcoal’ then sunk into the side of a clay pot crammed with moist sand. The pot was covered and saved moist. If you ended up blessed, roots shaped and you experienced a new plant, all set to set out again.
No gardening author has penned about that concept because Thompson, so significantly as I can build.But the buddy who alerted me to this reference said, his grandfather had developed cabbages that way all his life. It was widespread expertise in the Victorian era.
Did they clone cabbages in the Renaissance?
If cloning a cabbage is so simple, it may well reveal how new types of brassica like Brussels sprouts and Savoys ended up formulated and stabilised in the 16th and 17th centuries. We merely will not know how they did it. No documents have arrive down to us.
But it seems implausible that, as soon as a farmer noticed an appealing new mutation look by opportunity, he would isolate it from other cabbages in a discipline one mile distant. Alternatively, he would increase it along with his other cabbages. The seed of the mutated wide variety would then cross with that of other cabbages and the one of a kind new pressure would be misplaced. Nevertheless, indisputably, we have Brussel sprouts. How come?
Suppose as a substitute that the farmer took a stem chopping from that prototype Brussel sprout and he grew it on, year right after 12 months, without letting it set seed? In other words, he cloned it? It was perfectly within just the technological innovation of the time. So, were being the initially Brussel sprouts and other novel cabbage versions made by cloning?
Currently, we know that other sorts of plant – tomatoes, cucurbits and peppers – can also be propagated from stem cuttings ie. by cloning. Why do textbook authors seldom mention this? Possibly they haven’t go through the suitable gardening books!