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Still waiting for my Broccoli, Cauliflower and Cabbage to finish growing

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Still waiting for my Broccoli, Cauliflower and Cabbage to finish growing

Post  Miss Mousie on 11/28/2010, 3:22 am

I planted cabbage seedlings in the last part of August, broccoli and cauliflower seedlings the first week of September. That's 14 weeks and 12 weeks respectively. The cabbage was left over from the spring/summer plants (ugly plants) at the nursery, but the broccoli and cauliflower were the first of the fall veggies that my nursery had for sale. My cabbages have softball or slightly larger sized heads on them. The broccoli, most of them have little larger than silver dollar sized heads and the cauliflower is still a bunch of leaves. Does this sound normal for the time they've been in the ground? I thought the SFG book said that they take around 16 weeks until harvest. Also, we have had unseasonably cold weather here in the foothills in California, we've just received our 3rd snow of the season. The temp has been in the low 30's at night some nights. After the first snow, in which we received about 4 or 5 inches of snow, I had to go out and kick the snow off of some of my plants. The snow kind of half laid my broccoli down. I brushed the snow off and packed the soil down around the base of the plant to help it stand up. I don't think the stems were broken but they are kind of crooked but still looking healthy. The basil is toast as are the bell peppers which were probably out of their season anyway. The swiss chard and the aforementioned veggies are all looking healthy. When the sun comes out it's in the 50's and the snow melts for the most part. Oh, and I planted some lettuce seedlings about 2 weeks ago and they are doing fine too.

My question is do my veggies sound like they were growing normally as I described above before the snow? And, now that it's gotten colder and it looks like winter is upon us, should I be worried about frost bite and should I harvest my cabbages? Or should I just ride it out and see what happens? I doubt it will get too much colder and it warms up when the sun is out. We usually don't get snow this low this early. Last year I could have had a garden growing well into December.

This is all new to me.

Miss Mousie

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Re: Still waiting for my Broccoli, Cauliflower and Cabbage to finish growing

Post  PNG_Grandma on 11/28/2010, 4:04 am

Hi Miss Mousie! I just posted some pics of our garden here in the Central Valley. I planted my cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower about the same time you planted yours. I've been thinking mine are way behind too, but they seem to be healthy enough. Most of our other gardeners purchased larger plants and put them in the ground the last of September, and some have had beautiful harvests of broccoli already. I'm envious!! We're getting the unusual cold too, just not the snow you guys have. We had two huge tomato plants in the backyard just full of fairly large green tomatoes...not now! We came home to split and frozen solid, sorta clear looking ...clearly frozen looking tomatoes! The eggplant is shriveled, the peppers are turned to mush, and all the cute little volunteer cherry tomato plants and flat on the ground! Ah, well...now to clean up that area and get it ready for more planting!

Hang in there, I think the stuff we all have planted right now is liking this weather! santa

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Re: Still waiting for my Broccoli, Cauliflower and Cabbage to finish growing

Post  Miss Mousie on 11/28/2010, 9:28 pm

Hi PNG Grandma,

I went and checked on my garden this afternoon and everything is looking pretty good still. I agree that I think the broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower are liking this weather. Sorry to hear about your tomatoes. I guess they clearly do NOT like this weather Sad

I took some pictures of the veggies in question. The broccoli flowerets look almost like they would like to bloom soon, should I harvest them?

The last pictures are what's left after the snow. The marigolds are on their last leg I think.













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Re: Still waiting for my Broccoli, Cauliflower and Cabbage to finish growing

Post  PNG_Grandma on 11/28/2010, 9:52 pm

Your garden is beautiful! Good job, in spite of the snow!

As for harvesting the broccoli now...I'm far from any expert but personally I'd wait a bit. The heads look like some in our Apollo Garden belonging to a few other gardeners...and they waited. The heads doubled in size and it was worth the wait. I could be totally wrong, so hopefully some of the other more experienced gardeners will chime in here. Hey Chopper...where are you??

My marigolds are toast, but I'll plant more in the Spring for next year, I just love those little guys!
Good luck, and keep us posted.

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Re: Still waiting for my Broccoli, Cauliflower and Cabbage to finish growing

Post  Chopper on 11/28/2010, 11:40 pm

@Miss Mousie wrote:Hi PNG Grandma,

I went and checked on my garden this afternoon and everything is looking pretty good still. I agree that I think the broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower are liking this weather. Sorry to hear about your tomatoes. I guess they clearly do NOT like this weather Sad

I took some pictures of the veggies in question. The broccoli flowerets look almost like they would like to bloom soon, should I harvest them?


The second picture definitely looks like it is about to bloom . Most broccoli you can cut off buds and more will grow. Very few look like supermarket broc. Hope this helps even tho I am not PNG Grandma!

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Re: Still waiting for my Broccoli, Cauliflower and Cabbage to finish growing

Post  Miss Mousie on 11/30/2010, 4:00 am

Thanks Boffer and PNG Grandma,

I didn't go out to the garden today. I'll check on the broccoli and see if I should harvest now. I hate to because they are so small. I wonder why they turned out small, one plant seemed like it put all of it's energy into making a nice thick stalk and huge leaves and then hardly produced a flowerette at all. The cauliflower isn't doing much in the way of making a head of cauliflower either. Not sure what is going on there.

I should have gone out to the garden today because we had our first frost this morning........can I say that if we've already had snow?



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Re: Still waiting for my Broccoli, Cauliflower and Cabbage to finish growing

Post  camprn on 11/30/2010, 2:10 pm

My first thought when I saw your lovely cabbages was that you had a fabulous amount of nitrogen in the soil to promote such vigorous foliage growth!!! This would also explain that the plant is putting a lot of energy into making the foliage of the broccoli and cauliflower and not the flowering parts we eat.

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Re: Still waiting for my Broccoli, Cauliflower and Cabbage to finish growing

Post  Miss Mousie on 11/30/2010, 5:21 pm

Too much nitrogen? Hmmmm, how do I fix that? Sounds like you know your soil. Thanks.

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Re: Still waiting for my Broccoli, Cauliflower and Cabbage to finish growing

Post  WardinWake on 12/1/2010, 10:22 am

Howdy Folks:

We like to use all of the broccoli plant except the roots when we make soup. The stems can be cut into rings and and added along with the leaves.

God Bless, Ward and Mary.

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Re: Still waiting for my Broccoli, Cauliflower and Cabbage to finish growing

Post  Miss Mousie on 12/3/2010, 2:18 am

So I'm inclined to think that camprn is correct and that I have too much nitrogen in my soil. I've read that this can be amended with some epsom salt or ashes. I have both, does anyone know anything about this? I also figured that since this was the case that the broccoli heads weren't going to get much bigger and like chopper said, the one looked like it was ready to bloom, even more so today. So of the three plants that had flowerettes, I cut them, leaving the stems below to produce the side shoots. The other three plants had tiny, tiny flowerettes (big leaves) so I cut them off too to encourage side shoots. I'm going to go out and spread a very thing dusting of ashes on the garden and see what happens.

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Re: Still waiting for my Broccoli, Cauliflower and Cabbage to finish growing

Post  happyfrog on 12/3/2010, 6:30 am

you know, i just had another thought - could it be it was too HOT in your garden this summer? i actually had that problem here in my zone. so my broccoli and other brassicas just didn't do as well as they did the year before (when it was milder spring and early summer).

i figure the ashes wouldn't hurt anything so it's worth a shot. Smile

do share what works.. .'cause i know we're all intrigued now! Smile

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Re: Still waiting for my Broccoli, Cauliflower and Cabbage to finish growing

Post  camprn on 12/3/2010, 6:46 am

@Miss Mousie wrote:So I'm inclined to think that camprn is correct and that I have too much nitrogen in my soil. I've read that this can be amended with some epsom salt or ashes. I have both, does anyone know anything about this? I also figured that since this was the case that the broccoli heads weren't going to get much bigger and like chopper said, the one looked like it was ready to bloom, even more so today. So of the three plants that had flowerettes, I cut them, leaving the stems below to produce the side shoots. The other three plants had tiny, tiny flowerettes (big leaves) so I cut them off too to encourage side shoots. I'm going to go out and spread a very thing dusting of ashes on the garden and see what happens.

I use wood ash and epsom salt in my garden too. Epsom salts adds magnesium. Wood ashes will adjust the pH of the soil. Incorrect pH will hamper the plants from taking up proper nutrition from the soil. I believe neither actually corrects nitrogen. Heavy feeders and leafy greens are a good way to use up nitrogen. The soil nutrition is a balancing act. Home grown veggies rarely look like the ones in the store; my broccoli also made small florets, but once I cut off the main flower it put out a bunch of side flowers and kept growing all season. My guess is that you will have better results with the next round of growing plants.

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Re: Still waiting for my Broccoli, Cauliflower and Cabbage to finish growing

Post  middlemamma on 12/3/2010, 2:22 pm

Camprn do you BUY woodash? or is woodash what it sounds like? Just ashes from a fireplace?

Jen

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Re: Still waiting for my Broccoli, Cauliflower and Cabbage to finish growing

Post  camprn on 12/3/2010, 9:42 pm

I use the wood ash from the fireplace or wood stove. Just a note, and it was covered once in another thread but I thought it worth mentioning here to avoid confusion, I do not use ash from charcoal briquettes that I use sometimes in the grill.

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Re: Still waiting for my Broccoli, Cauliflower and Cabbage to finish growing

Post  staf74 on 12/3/2010, 10:28 pm

I made the mistake of adding too much Fish Emulsion once and saw abundant leaf growth also on my Brassicas. Luckily I corrected it. One thing i've learned is that numerous things can often contrive against your crop BUT....it COULD be a potential lack of phosphoros. Perhaps go for a liquid organic big bloom fertilizer suitable for veggies, it should also provide vital micro-nutrients. At this point, you don't have much time and a liquid fertilizer is immediately available to boost those blooms. I don't know if we are able to name specific products (I'm kinda a newbie so don't want to break house rules) but you can easily google such products. Perhaps it is nutrient lockup due to pH as the whole of the plant looks a tad small but perhaps looking at the pics they were planted a little too close together also. Happyfrog is right also; could be bad temps early in growth but you can't control that nor plant spacing now. You do still have time and control over adding more phosphoros though. Can't really hurt at this point as long as you don't overdo it of course.

Good luck ! your garden is lovely.

My amateur two cents. I yield to the more experienced minds in the house Very Happy

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Re: Still waiting for my Broccoli, Cauliflower and Cabbage to finish growing

Post  LaFee on 12/4/2010, 1:45 am

No worries, Staf74, we talk about MiracleGro all the time here.

But thanks for erring on the side of caution.

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Re: Still waiting for my Broccoli, Cauliflower and Cabbage to finish growing

Post  staf74 on 12/4/2010, 1:20 pm

Okay thanks LaFee !

There are so many new and exciting organic products out there that work WITH and not against nature. I was not sure if a recommendation would constitute advertising, so appreciate the heads up. I'm really into the Fulvic / humic acid products lately. Very interesting products.

Cheers !




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Re: Still waiting for my Broccoli, Cauliflower and Cabbage to finish growing

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