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I bought some young vegetable plants and our local nursery in April. They seem to be doing well now that they have been planted out in fact the calabrese is doing so well that some of the plants already have heads and are starting to flower. I wasn't expecting them to crop until much later in the year so I have obviously done something wrong. I presume I should cut off these heads? Can anyone tell me what I have done wrong?
I work in commercial veg production as well as having experience from a large veg seed company. I have some advice for you all. The variety choice is vitally important. Do not chose heritage varieties where possible. These are very old and inconsistant! This is why these are not grown commercially. Like Pippa mentioned up the top, she grew Ironman (the UK commercial variety. My company grows around 80% of our broccoli as Ironman, with Tinman at the start of the season and Steel at the end of the UK season. We are talking some 40 million of them). Ironman is consistant and reliable. Plant out a 6-7 week old plant and it will be ready in 70-80 days consistantly. The same applies to Cauliflower, Freedom, Aviron, Cornell, and Concept are UK standard summer varietes - all ready in 80-90 days after planting a 6-7 week old plant. You would never find Snowball in supermarkets as the quality is poorer. Spacing is also important as well as time of year, don't plant these too early or late in the season. Broccoli - end feb at earliest and cover with fleece for early plants. Do not plant after mid aug for late broccoli otherwise the frost may become a problem. All commercial seed has a seed treatment on them for a reason. They help stop the seed rotting in cold wet soils, protect againist cabbage root fly, and protect againist aphids. Go for Commercial varieties where ever possible, and F1 hybrids. You won't be able to save any seed, but you will get a far better quality product. Things bolt when understress. To cold/hot, wrong time of year, are too close to each other etc.
thanks so much for this, good to hear your thoughts on is still my very firm favourite !
Can anybody tell me what the small white grub that infests my cauliflowers and red cabbage.they are not cabbage butterfly grubs.these are in the heart of the plant. Thanks
I have had club root in my garden for over 25years, is there anything I can do to help me grow cabbage or brussels Thank you


I have this year grown my first Broccoli crop (Cardinal). Six healthy plants but not a sign of purple anywhere to be seen. Do I need to do anything more to encourage flowering or is too late to get a crop? Any advice greatfully accepted Many thanks Tony
It gives me hope that someone as knowledeable as you Pippa has trouble growing brassica's. I'm only into my 2nd yr growing veggies and thinking of giving up on brassica's already. Last year I lost the lot to the cabbage white's offspring - the whole bed was writhing with caterpillars - I had been ill in bed for a week and unable to chase them off with my tennis racket (I'm sure my neighbours think I'm insane) I wimped out and left them for my husband to dispose of!! So this year my husband made me a cage covered with insect netting to fit over my raised beds, this was put in place as soon as the brassica's were planted through a membrane (no weeding). However even though the cage is just over a metre high, the brussels grew taller and started to lift it off the bed (how high do brussels grow? this info is not in my gardening books!). I had to cut the tops off the plants, the brussels are still very small, about the size of a pound coin, will they keep growing? I also planted broccoli and calabrese again this year, but have been unable to eat any, one day they were growing nicely, then the next they had turned to flowers. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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