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17 messages
23/06/2014 at 19:17

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/50415.jpg?width=276&height=350&mode=max

Hi all, I am attempting (again) to grow broccoli and sprouts and got them muddled up when planting.  However, I am pretty sure this is Broccoli, but has it bolted or should it look like that already? Sorry for the daft question but they have never got this big before And I wasn't expecting any actual broccoli for a while 

23/06/2014 at 19:25

OL.....looks like you've got some Broccoli heads there..........I've never grown it actually but that is what it is supposed to do I think...........the florets will mature to heads........if they do well, I shall be asking you for advice when I come to try them........certainly don't look much like sprouts to me Maybe the Sprouts are the ones next door ?  They won't be showing for ages yet.

23/06/2014 at 19:28

Yes, I think they have as they should have grown bigger than this before producing heads.  However, all may not be lost as they will produce side shoots.  Cut all of these early heads off now - you may have enough for a meal - and then side shoots should soon start to appear at the joints between leaves and stem.  If you only have a few plants it may not be worth it though as side shoots (aka spears) are always much smaller than the main head.

23/06/2014 at 19:28

The sprouts are at the back Phillippa if this is definitely broccoli, I know it looks like broccoli but think I am so shocked that it looks like I'm succeeding that thought it couldn't possibly be!!   Most definitely in shock now LOL!!! OMG.....I've done it  (Well almost, as long as nothing comes and eats it!!)

23/06/2014 at 19:30

Hmmmm, I posted before reading Bob's.....oh well, not as clever as I thought then 

23/06/2014 at 19:35

It happens to us all, OL, especially when there's a dry spell at a critical point in their development.  You can help by planting them deeper (up to the lowest leaves) when you transplant them, assuming you started them in trays or modules.  Do that when they have 4 or 5 true leaves.  Regular watering is also essential - if they dry out, it triggers them into flower (which is what the head is really.)

23/06/2014 at 19:35

I am pretty sure that the first time I grew it, which is years ago, something like this happened, and I just cut it off, ate it, and then the plant continued to grow and kept sending more out, which I kept harvesting and eating.  And that was broccoli.  I never got heads like you get in the shops, but maybe it was purple sprouting or something similar.  Anyway, the 'anything' that comes and eats it should definitely be you and yours!!

23/06/2014 at 19:37

OL.........oops.......Sorry about that.....I have a sneaking feeling that Bob knows what he is talking about whilst you and I probably don't

Oh well, never mind, at least you now know what Broccoli will look like when you get it right next year ( and so will I ! )  

23/06/2014 at 19:37

I think it's probably a watering issue Bob as I did everything else you said, yes I did grow them in pots indoors and planted them out when they were quite big.  The ground is quite dry though so I think I have failed to water them properly ......... Muppet me!!  I still have another 3/4 that look ok so will go and give them a good soak.

Thanks, let's hope I have better look next year.

23/06/2014 at 19:39

No worries Philippa, at least I had that sense of success for a couple of minutes 

23/06/2014 at 19:50

23/06/2014 at 20:09

You are picking-up this gardening lark really quickly, OL!    All these little tricks and tips add-up and I'm sure you will have a better crop next year!   We all started off knowing virtually nothing, after all!

23/06/2014 at 21:01

Thank you Bob, broccoli for tea tomorrow it is then and lots of lovely broccoli spears 

24/06/2014 at 08:33
You have done better than me, I have just being feeding the slugs. Lovely seedlings, rally pleased with myself and then the slugs obviously decided they were lovely too : (

Last years were feasted on by caterpillars : (
24/06/2014 at 08:46

This is my 3rd year of trying Chrissie.  Before I have sown them direct where they were to grow, this year I sowed in pots, protected with net and a few slug pellets when in the GH.  The birds started pecking when I put them outside and I've had caterpillars too but with netting and regular checking they have grown well.......muppet me just forgot the watering bit it seems!!! Oh well, next year I will get it right 

24/06/2014 at 09:06

looks like you may have planted early, that's calabrase (what most people call broccoli) mine are about three inches tall and will go out in mid august for harvest in Nov thru to Jan

you can plant early but you end up with little heads that look like that, rather than the big chunky ones.

24/06/2014 at 10:23

That could be it too treehugger, I thought I would harvest them for Christmas!!  I can't find the packet for the variety but I sowed it in the GH on 7/4, repotted them on 26/4 and planted them out on 20/5.

Having looked at my AT book again, I see there is sprouting broccoli and Calabrese under 2 listings.....silly me can't remember which mine is????!!!

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