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Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  FamilyGardening on 9/1/2011, 3:41 am

Shocked

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  llama momma on 9/1/2011, 5:04 am

Gwennifer,

Beautiful picture Gwennifer!

From your photo it looks like you used Mel's Mix, right? Several times in the All New S F Gardening book Mel mentions how soft Mel's mix is, and if a plant blows over you simply push it back down into the mix and give it a drink of (ideal) sun warmed water. Some personal thoughts -- I am thinking the addition of warm water encourages root and root hair growth that might have been disturbed to minimize shock to the plant. Mel mentions sun warmed water several times in the book as a good thing to do all the time. I would try to look close at the stem and replant it to its prior depth as best as I could tell. Don't know how critical that is but its my personal suggestion to help your baby! Hope this helps!

Personal experience - my 6 foot corn stalks leaned over 45 degree angle, from 3 different wind storms. Used a broomstick to lean into the rows and stand them all back up. No harm done, the ears grew very nicely despite being blown around. (Next time I will use Mel's horizontal protection he describes in the book)

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  boffer on 9/1/2011, 10:26 am

@gwennifer wrote: Not sure what to do with it. I couldn't exactly mound dirt around it and firm it in place. Anybody else have this problem?
Hey, those are pretty good size already.

When I transplant broccoli, I pull off the cotyledons and bury the seedling up to the first true leaves. When I direct seed, I will sometimes pull off the cotyledons and mound MM around the stem to up the first true leaves. Sometimes a ¼ inch stick that is stuck in the MM for the seedling to lean against is all the help the plant needs to start growing straight.

Truth is, a broccoli plant that lays over and gets a dog leg in the stem near the soil will still produce, but it just doesn't look 'nice'. Brussel sprouts are also bad about falling over and getting dog legs, but they will still grow 3-4 feet tall.

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  gwennifer on 9/1/2011, 2:25 pm

Thanks everyone.

Yes, they grew fast! Remember I chose them because the tag said "vigorous"? Accurate so far. If you look at the picture, you can barely see on the right hand side of my box three squares of cauliflower that I direct sowed. They sprouted the same day I transplanted the broccoli. Hard to believe the broccoli transplants were even smaller than those are now.

With hindsight, I figured I should have buried the transplants deeper than they came. Indeed all six of them are dog-legged! You can see one quite clearly in the pic. Chalk that one up to learning experience; that's going in my garden journal. Hey, I wouldn't have known a broccoli plant from a geranium five weeks ago, so I'm making progress!

I do remember the sun-warmed water bit. I've been keeping my watering can full to use on them. I've been afraid to go out and look at teh poor guy today...

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Look out for pests

Post  gwennifer on 9/1/2011, 2:28 pm

For those learning like me, if you notice your leaves are curling funny, be sure to look inside:



I'm told they are aphids and I've got to go wash them off today. *shudder*

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  capatl on 9/1/2011, 6:15 pm

ICKY aphids...makes me itchy!
Sadly, I don't know if I will be able to participate in the contest this fall. I will be growing broccoli, but in our school garden (non SFG). It's looking like my DH may soon be unemployed, may pick up some contracted jobs here and there but, ya never know. I have been hunting around for Mel's ingredients (for my old shelf-turning into SFG), and pretty much found everything...but now's not a good time to spend extra funds. Still have time...my favorite nursery will have transplants in mid-September. I will be watching (and taking notes) either way!

Good luck to all!

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  FamilyGardening on 9/2/2011, 12:29 am

here is one of my babies...i have planted some spinach in there as well.......not sure if they will grow in time for the contest...but heck..its only a few seeds....Laughing oh...i also planted some cauliflowers...so this pic maybe a cauliflower...LOL...they got mixed up and i can not tell who is who....Laughing i have about 12 all together planted....our we to only count the ones that are in our SFG?...or can i count the ones in containers that have MM in them?



hugs

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 9/2/2011, 8:54 am

Rose, mine is smaller than yours. As Charlie Sheen would say.........winning!

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I think my broccoli is going to be able to compete!

Post  ChicagoLaura on 9/2/2011, 2:19 pm

I thought my only thriving brassica's were going to be my Brussels.... (Man! They turn into tall Sideshow Bobs by August!) But now the broccoli is catching up!

I've got one *in* the SFG and two in a planter...don't know if the rules will allow the stragglers to compete.... Wink

You know what makes me love these broccoli plants so much?
#1 - I bought 'em as transplants at the end of my garden center's season, just hunting for something to fill a square whose lettuce had bolted. Just needed one...but a *3-pack* was 39 cents!
#2 - They are hardy little fellas! When I bought them, they were pretty thirsty-looking, and they suffered through a long, hot weekend without water. (Did I mention they're in a planter adjacent to the SFG? Apparently, Dad, who was s'posed to be watering everybody, didn't catch on to that.)

And now, God bless 'em, they're sporting 3-5 inch heads! (Well, one's not showing any head yet, but I'm not giving up on any of them!)

Count us in!

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  llama momma on 9/3/2011, 2:12 pm

Pictures look very nice everyone! Capatl - hope you can somehow join the fun. Your are right if it does't work out this time then next time for sure, and you can keep up with our tips and how to avoid any errors! I am thankful to read Boffer's advice on doglegs because I've got some too. FG-Rose - as long as you are using Mel's Mix I don't think anyone has a problem if you grow it in a box or a container. ChicagoLaura- Welcome! Certainly compete with your broccs as long as you are using Mel's Mix like the rest of us, and measure the diameter before the buds turn yellow and before 2011 ends. Here are my 12 new brocc babies:


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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  llama momma on 9/4/2011, 1:46 pm

I thought they were pretty little yellow and blue moths or butterflies feasting on my new MM last week. I was filling a new box for the broccoli and took pictures. I happened to go back and look at squatjohnsons earlier entry in this thread regarding cabbage moths. Yikes - It looks to me like there were female and male cabbage moths in my box even before I planted the broccoli. OMG, Bt and tulle here I come. You should be able to spot 1 yellow female and 3 blue males, you may have to squint they all have their wings closed.


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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  duhh on 9/4/2011, 2:31 pm

I'm trying broccoli for the first time this year. I think I have a purple one. I have some seedlings going, but I don't think I can plant them for another long while. It's still about 110 here. Should be in the low 100's by next week though! woohoo!

So if it does anything, I'm up for joining the fun if it's not to late!

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  llama momma on 9/4/2011, 3:14 pm

To "duhh" -- The Fall 2011 Contest, our Autumn broccoli "contestants" are going to be measured (diameter of head before it turns yellow and bolts) by the end of 2011. I am hoping this time frame allows overlapping of some different growing zones to include as many people as possible. If this fits your growing schedule good luck and welcome! I hope we can all have fun and learn something new about broccoli! llama momma

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 9/4/2011, 4:38 pm

I am temporarily out of the contest. The other day, while weeding, I pulled my broccoli because I wasn't thinking which square I was working. I put it back, and it would have likely survived.

However, today my daughter was weeding and she got it, too, and pitched it. Oh well. We planted four more since I'm supposed to have a very cool week this week. Maybe we can get some fall seeds started now that the heat broke.

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  llama momma on 9/4/2011, 5:54 pm

Oh no that is unfortunate news. Gardening is so good for us, enables us to experience without words - in its own special quiet way, to be patient, forgiving, and diligent. My fingers are crossed for your garden and a satisfying harvest.

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  moswell on 9/5/2011, 2:44 pm

I finally got my broccoli in the garden today. I bought the transplants a few weeks ago, but circumstances transpired and I wasn't able to make more Mel's Mix for the second bed I built until this weekend (Irene certainly didn't help)! I added some very small lettuce seedlings I grew too - they look pretty pathetic, not sure they'll survive.

But the four broccoli transplants look really nice, and I managed to keep them alive, even grow them a bit, in their transplant containers, which is a real shocker. Smile Hopefully they'll do well in the SFG. Even though I don't expect to win, just having fresh, home-grown broccoli will be reward enough for me!

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  llama momma on 9/5/2011, 3:08 pm

Moswell I can "hear" the fun of your anticipation. I enjoy watching how much these little plants are so strongly programmed to take off and grow with just a little help from us : ) Enjoy! and watch for those pesky little moths I described above that can bring on the worms.... also, if you haven't already, you may be interested in more info on broccs. Look above where it says Lastest Topics in bold print, put a checkmark in Search SFG Forum. Type in broccoli for past entries.

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Are you all ready for a good laugh?

Post  madnicmom on 9/6/2011, 8:17 pm

I was out watering my plants today and the tag was in the way. I picked it up, read it and started to yell some indecent words!



I must drop out of the contest.



I bought Early Dutch CABBAGE!!!!!! Now that explains why the leaves are a bit waxy, I can't believe my "ditz moment"





Let the teasing begin!

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  boffer on 9/6/2011, 9:21 pm

That's plenty ditzy! rofl But I know I can laugh along with you because I've been there too! who?me?

(maybe you can cut off the cabbage head and stick in a store bought broccoli?!)

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  madnicmom on 9/6/2011, 9:29 pm

Ha! when I seen you responded, I thought " do I really want to revisit that thread?!" lol!

Thank you for being easy on me. I'm still in disbelieve of what i've done!

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  boffer on 9/6/2011, 11:26 pm

Perfection is not what it's cracked up to be. If I'm not making mistakes, I'm not doing anything!

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  llama momma on 9/7/2011, 9:47 am

Question --



Is it ok to place tulle directly on top of the broccoli and just tuck the remainder of tulle into the inside perimeter of the 4 by 4 box? I would leave enough tulle to unravel as the broccs got taller.

On top of the tulle I need to use critter cages like last year so I don't think the pvc hoop set-up would work here. Cages worked great for animal critters but not on the massive amount of worms. I'm trying to tackle both issues this year. Bt is ready too.. Thank you : )

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  Furbalsmom on 9/7/2011, 2:09 pm

llama momma,

I think laying the tulle directly on top of the broccoli would do just fine. The tulle is so light that as long as you give it some ease, the broccoli will just lift the tulle as it grows.

The tulle was great protection against the cabbage moths laying eggs which grow into cabbage worms, and I still have one cabbage in my table top, so the tulle stays until I harvest that too.

Tulle is great for any plant that does not need to be pollinated, so I covered my carrots, beets, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbages. For ease of protection, I had them all in one bed. I have planted kohlrabi for this Fall in the same bed after harvesting the broccoli and cauliflower.

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  llama momma on 9/7/2011, 3:51 pm

Furbalsmom - Great Help and Thank You very much! I wanted to get it right the first time without reinventing the process.

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  squaredeal on 9/8/2011, 3:40 pm

In the spring I took photos every week to document the progress of my garden like a proud mama of a new baby. Well, now, let's just say I'm not going to need any new batteries for the camera this month. Nonetheless, I did get this photo. Sorry it is so dark. Went late to the garden, and it just started to rain ( leftovers of Lee). The corn stalks are there to provide some afternoon shade. The fall spiky thing is a rescued pepper plant. Its now starting to releaf.

I might add, I'm the only one in my community garden working on a fall garden.


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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

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