ode to broccoli

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by peacebaker, Oct 6, 2006.

  1. peacebaker

    peacebaker Well-Known Member

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    I think I've tried to grow broccoli 3 or 4 times before this year. Do you ever have a veggie you just have no luck with, that you think is not worth growing? The first year I didn't have a good light set-up, and the seedlings got too leggy and fell over. The next time I did better but didn't know enough to cut them early and they all bloomed. Why did I keep trying? I don't know, I'd take a year off, or hear from someone that it was a "bad year for broccoli" and so I'd try again.

    This was my year.

    Six plants. Big, beautiful heads, and now we've been picking side-shoots all summer! I think we've had a main course of brocolli every week for 6 weeks!

    So here's a little encouragement for those who have had bad luck with a certain vegetable. One year it will be YOUR year :)
     
  2. Mr. Green Jeans

    Mr. Green Jeans Well-Known Member

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    Six plants? That's all? My word, my family would laugh at me. We eat six heads for dinner every time we cook it. I have to set out close to 300 plants in the fall. Then at least that many more in the spring. What type of broccoli are you growing? We grow the Calabrese. I like it best for all the extra shoots it puts on after the head has been cut.
     

  3. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Mine did better than usual this year too...still getting side shoots...12 plants make enough side shoots to fill 1Q ziplock bag for me!
     
  4. Randy Rooster

    Randy Rooster Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I used to have trouble with certain plants. I honestly think it has more to do with getting the timing of your seeding and transplanting down to the correct season and time within the season rather than some kind of hex. If a certain plant in your area doesnt work in the spring, try the late summer early fall. I set out my brocolli plants about 4 weeks after seeding in flats usually by mid September here with a 2nd planting at the end of September. I have heads by late November, and shoots sporadically till February when the sprouts go into high gear from the plants set out in September. In the mean time I have started new brocolli in flats in February and set out in March. These plants are ready to harvest before the heat of June sets in. I grow a couple hundred broccolli plants a year for my family use. I actually find it to be one of the easier vegetables to grow- if it falls over in the flats just let it go and bury it up to the first set of leaves when you set it in the garden. I grow the Marathon and Premium Crop varieties.
     
  5. omnicat

    omnicat Well-Known Member

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    I didn't have much lick with broccoli until I planted it in a spot that only gets 3 hours of sun. Then it thrived. Also, this year, I sowed in July as well. The plants are just now flowering, and they LOVE it that the weather was getting progessively cooler as they matured, rather than hotter...
     
  6. omnicat

    omnicat Well-Known Member

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    now - as far as a plant you have no luck with - for me that would be melons of any sort. And only spotty success with hard squashes. I've not been able to beat the striped & spotted cucumber beetles that decend on them every year. I always find the buggers MATING inside the flowers! And I don't have the consistency to keep them sprayed with my homemade "go away, bug" sprays for long enough. I suspect the insects vector diease, and the vines usually die before they do much.

    I'm thinking about solarizing the soil there, to kill the overwintering larvae and other diseases in the soil. (Clear plastic, with another layer of clear plastic set above with a few bricks, for 4 -5 weeks in the spring)

    Has anyone ever tried this, and does it work? Or any other suggestions for me?