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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone else every have a problem with Broccoli and Cauliflower Not forming heads?

Father-in-law and I planted 6 Broccoli and 6 Cauliflower plants back at the end of April....I got the Broccoli Plants from my Buddy, he planted his a week AFTER I planted mine and he has been cutting heads and spears of Broccoli for the past 5 weeks..I bought the Cauliflower Plants from Stauffers of Kissel Hill in Linglestown, I have not gotten a head form on my Broccoli or Cauliflower!


We planted the Cauliflower at the same time as the Broccoli, we planted 6 Cauliflower plants then 6 Cabbage Plants then 6 Broccoli Plants in the same row with good spacing between each plant...My Buddy does the Same thing on his Farm, takes a row and starts with Broccoli then cabbage then Brussel Sprouts and lettuce mixed in between them....he doesn't like cauliflower so he never grows any to sell nor plant in his garden..

The Cabbage has been forming nice heads for the past 3 weeks, it is about ready to be cut and make in the Kraut...We pulled the Broccoli and Cauliflower on Saturday...they just kept growing taller and taller and showed not a sign at all of forming heads!

I talked to my Buddy about this, he says he never heard of that happening and can not figure out WHY his plants that came from the Exact Seeds that my Plants came from of the Broccoli were forming heads then spears and mine just keep growing taller and taller and forming no heads at all...


Anyone ever have this problem? We are going to start some more broccoli and cauliflower either this weekend or next weekend to have to plant in August for a fall crop...hoping they will grow heads and not just do what the other plants did of just growing taller and taller!

Frustrating, I love fresh cut broccoli and cauliflower from the garden, was looking forward to some and the plants didn't do what they were supposed to do!!
 

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Extremely hot weather can cause broccoli and cauliflower to bolt, sounds like what happened.
 

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Is your garden higher in nitrogen than your friends? Like all tops and no yield?
I have better luck using epsom salts on most everything in the garden
 

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It could be your ph it has to be around 6.0 to 7.0 and you have to water a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
peep site said:
It could be your ph it has to be around 6.0 to 7.0 and you have to water a lot.


Our Neighbor takes care of that for us with his swimming pool water...

Why would it only affect the Broccoli and Cauliflower and all other plants are growing just fine...

As for the nitrogen comment above, Do tree leaves have alot of Nitrogen in them? we have not put down any fertilizer or manure on the yard garden in 10 years, but have been using the leaves that fall in the yard, each fall and lay them down and let them rot all winter long then till them in, in the spring...

Also, we bag the grass when we cut it and put it on a pile and let it get black then when it is all black, we put that on the garden and till it in and also use it during the summer to mulch to keep the weeds at bay!
 

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I looked up what may be your problem in my gardening book.

Broccoli, brussel sprouts,cauliflower are prone to one big problem of their own: "clubroot".
It is a fungal disease and arrrives by way of infected transplants and causes the roots to become gnarled,misshapen, and unable to take up enough water. Above ground afflicted plants look stunted and yellowish, and they wilt easlily.There is no cure for clubroot, but you will find some good preventive medicine in your supermarket produce isle. namely, rhubarb. Bury stalks of it in the planting beds and your cole crops should stay free of the the fungus. (But be on the safe side and grow your brassica crops in a different spot every year, and if clubroot is commonn in your area don't buy seed or transplants that were locally grown."

Hope this helps your problem
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sqrlhntr said:
I looked up what may be your problem in my gardening book.

Broccoli, brussel sprouts,cauliflower are prone to one big problem of their own: "clubroot".
It is a fungal disease and arrrives by way of infected transplants and causes the roots to become gnarled,misshapen, and unable to take up enough water. Above ground afflicted plants look stunted and yellowish, and they wilt easlily.There is no cure for clubroot, but you will find some good preventive medicine in your supermarket produce isle. namely, rhubarb. Bury stalks of it in the planting beds and your cole crops should stay free of the the fungus. (But be on the safe side and grow your brassica crops in a different spot every year, and if clubroot is commonn in your area don't buy seed or transplants that were locally grown."

Hope this helps your problem
Is Not That, Plants were All Nice and Green, No Wilting what so ever, Cauliflower Grew up to about 3.5-4 feet High and got HUGE Leaves on the Stalks... Broccoli grew about 3 feet high and also got Huge Leaves on the Stalk...

I'm pretty Sure John S has it Right, that 1 week of really hot weather we had created them to Bolt, ending in nothing but stalk and leaves and no heads!

Both Cauliflower and Broccoli was Very Healthy Looking with the exception of the Huge Leaves they got on them and the No Forming of Heads!
 

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Could be that it is the weather. But we are all getting that including your friend that you said got a great crop. I saw a garden last week end that had all three of the cole crops and they were at least 4 foot tall and all have heads on them. Did you ever try to contact PSU or your local county agent?
Mine are all growing good and the temps have been high 80s and low 90s.
 

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Why plants bolt can be due to them not being planted early enough before it gets hot, and some varieties of cruciferous plants are more suseptible to bolting than others.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
John,

I started more Broccoli and Cauliflower on Wednesday....I started them the way I always start small seeds like them..

I take a napkin and dampen it then lay the seeds out on it and fold over and put in a ziplock plastic bag and let them sit for a few days till the seeds start to pop and sprout...then I take them and put them into peat pellets to get them going...ONLY Way I have had success in starting Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage and Collard Greens on my own..

Like I said, I started them Wednesday and last evening transfered them to the peat pellets...

Do you think it is to soon?? I still have seeds, I only started 12 of each..

To soon with all the heat we could get in August?

Should I maybe have waited till second week of august and started them?

I do not want the fall crop to do the same as the spring crop did!! This is the FIRST Time I have ever had Broccoli and Cauliflower Bolt!!
 

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Woody, If it were me I would wait a while, it is going to be very hot for a while. When I plant broccoli and cauliflower in the spring, I get it out real early same time as sugar pes and onions and raddishes. I never plant in the fall so somone here who does may be able to give better advice but I do know what heat does to those plants.
 

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OK this is just my opinion because mine did pretty much the same thing. Cabbage is doing good though. We had alot of rain with no sunshine ,then went to full sun with high temps. Most of my early crops didn't amount to squat. We are making some head way now with a bumper crop of maters, cukes, zucchini & corn is looking good but needs watered.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
John S said:
Woody, If it were me I would wait a while, it is going to be very hot for a while. When I plant broccoli and cauliflower in the spring, I get it out real early same time as sugar pes and onions and raddishes. I never plant in the fall so somone here who does may be able to give better advice but I do know what heat does to those plants.
John,

Those Broccoli and Cauliflower I started 2 weeks ago, they came up in the peat pellets and looked good then Died, I started some more yesturday, I have them outside, when they push thru the surface I'm bringing them into the basement and setting them by a window to get sunlight but stay cool....hoping to get them in the ground by mid august so I have a chance at getting heads from them this year!!
 

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John hit it right.Both are cool weather crops.Cauliflower likes about 1"-1 1/4" water a week also.I started some Cheddar Cauliflower about 2 weeks ago.Still have them in starting pots with some fertilizer pellets added.Fall crops are planted about 14 weeks before frost.Heads will form best in cool late Sept-Oct.
 
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