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broccoli stunted

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broccoli stunted

Post  dingoatebaby on 2/14/2017, 6:47 pm

Ever since I started growing broccoli it grows veeeeerrrry sloooow. I start it indoors and plant it in garden in  early April. I don't get a harvest till about July and its about ready to bolt. Any reasons why it takes so long. Also, does the bacillus spray work well against worms or is there a better organic method, besides netting?
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Re: broccoli stunted

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/14/2017, 8:19 pm

Hi, dingoatebaby!  Hope that isn't true....LOL!  

I have never grown broccoli. I know there are many here who have.  Our archives, up in the upper left hand corner under SEARCH is a great place to start....lots of great info there! 

glad you\'re here

Now, would love to hear what you experienced.   Was your summer super hot and dry?
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Re: broccoli stunted

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 2/14/2017, 9:00 pm

How many weeks old were the seedlings when you transplanted them? I read somewhere that transplanting older plants can result in slow/stunted growth.

I grew broccoli for the first time this year. I wasn't very successful, but I figured it was because my garden is borderline on getting enough sun. But I'm also in PA, so maybe we both had some unhelpful weather. I, too, would like to hear more about what you experienced.

I did not try the Bt because a lot of non-pest butterflies visit my garden. I used fabric covers this last year and this year I will switch to tulle/netting.

Hand-picking is the other organic method, but it's not better. The year before last, I hand-picked the caterpillars and eggs off the kale and other brassica plants. It was tedious and not 100% effective because the eggs are tiny and the caterpillars are well camouflaged. When I got to the point where I was chasing the cabbage butterflies around with the hose spray like a crazy lady to try to stop them from laying eggs, I decided I needed to try something different.

I'm trying broccoli again this year. I'm starting sooner and going into it with a lemonade-mind-set: if the broccoli bolts, I'm not so much losing broccoli as gaining seeds for microgreens.
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Re: broccoli stunted

Post  sanderson on 2/15/2017, 3:57 am

@BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:tWhen I got to the point where I was chasing the cabbage butterflies around with the hose spray like a crazy lady to try to stop them from laying eggs, I decided I needed to try something different.
rofl I tried a butterfly net and my husband threatened to post a video on YouTube.

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Re: broccoli stunted

Post  CapeCoddess on 2/15/2017, 5:00 pm

I grow broccoli only for the leaves now. Sometimes I get a head the size of my pinky nail, then pick it right before it flowers, take it into the house and tell Mom we'll split it for dins.
Laughing
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Re: broccoli stunted

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 2/15/2017, 9:22 pm

@sanderson wrote:
@BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:tWhen I got to the point where I was chasing the cabbage butterflies around with the hose spray like a crazy lady to try to stop them from laying eggs, I decided I needed to try something different.
rofl  I tried a butterfly net and my husband threatened to post a video on YouTube.
I've actually caught them with my hands, but then I get a 'uh, now what?' sort of moment. Squashing a butterfly? I just can't. I mean, look at that soft, fuzzy bug-fur and big, cute, faceted eyes!
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Re: broccoli stunted

Post  countrynaturals on 2/16/2017, 9:40 am

WOW! What a shot, Beetles. Amazing.
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Re: broccoli stunted

Post  llama momma on 2/16/2017, 10:27 am

Broccoli is a heavy feeder for one.  Also I only grow it as a fall crop here in central Ohio. It failed miserably for me as a Spring plant.  My personal observation is this-  small transplants do establish nicely in late summer, then colder Autumn weather  suppresses bolting or flowering.  So the plant energy sticks to growing a nice large head with teeny tiny buds like we normally expect.  I also spray bT for moths and cover with tulle. If you buy transplants the eggs can already be on the plants and you might think spraying and covering didn't work.  Happened to me.  Now I always spray and cover even if I grow the plants myself. Why? Tulle can have a surprise hole somewhere and let in moths!
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Re: broccoli stunted

Post  sanderson on 2/17/2017, 1:21 am

@countrynaturals wrote:WOW! What a shot, Beetles. Amazing.
+1

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Re: broccoli stunted

Post  trolleydriver on 2/17/2017, 8:40 am

@sanderson wrote:
@countrynaturals wrote:WOW! What a shot, Beetles. Amazing.
+1

+2

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Re: broccoli stunted

Post  dingoatebaby on 2/20/2017, 6:20 pm

The weather in the summers has been hot and dry although some summers have had a wet May or June and the results have been the same, no full heads till about July. So I don't know if i'm missing any key nutrients. I've mixed about four to five diff types of compost. I transplant the plants probably when they were about 4-6 inches high. Both broccoli and cauliflower have same problem.  Even beets seem to take longer. The tops get big, but the beet itself lags behind.
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Re: broccoli stunted

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/20/2017, 6:33 pm

LM, when do you put your broc out?  August?  I am growing Romanesco, and think it may be similar.  

Dingo, is the color normal, just small heads and slow growth?  With the beets, sometimes lots of foliage with not great root development indicate too much nitrogen.  

Beetles, it is adorable.  Bug puppy equivalent.
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Re: broccoli stunted

Post  dingoatebaby on 2/20/2017, 6:41 pm

Color is normal. Heads don't get huge because they bolt. They get about medium sized and then split into individual florets before bolting. If there is currently too much nitrogen for the beets, what do I add to "counteract" it?
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Re: broccoli stunted

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/20/2017, 7:33 pm

R
@dingoatebaby wrote:Color is normal. Heads don't get huge because they bolt. They get about medium sized and then split into individual florets before bolting. If there is currently too much nitrogen for the beets, what do I add to "counteract" it?
I would plant a super heavy feeder, like a squash in there.  That will suck the nitrogen out!  Don't put beans or peas, they are nitrogen fixers....

Broccoli, eggplants, tomatoes, squash, melons, cukes....all like their nitrogen.
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Re: broccoli stunted

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 2/20/2017, 8:46 pm

Nitrogen is definitely a possibility if your growth is otherwise good and just the broccoli heads/beets not forming is the problem. You may also want to start one or two, two weeks sooner than usual and compare to see if those perform better (that's what I'm trying.)  Unfortunately both too hot and too cold can cause the same problem of small heads -- and with an 85-100 days to maturity for broccoli, not all growing locations have enough 'just right' time in the spring. I've read that fall broccoli is easier, but I wasn't successful this past year. I think my August was too hot.
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Re: broccoli stunted

Post  yolos on 2/20/2017, 9:34 pm

I don't know if what is occurring with your broccoli is "Button Heads" but here is an article describing it and some solutions.

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/broccoli/buttoning-broccoli-heads.htm
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Re: broccoli stunted

Post  dingoatebaby on 3/1/2017, 9:14 pm

Thanks for the ideas everyone. No I don't have button heads but whether I try straight from seed in the garden or start indoors I pretty much get the same result
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