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You can try feeding cauliflowers once a month with dry blood (12% nitrogen)which is needed for the brassicas to develop good heads.I mix it with BFB and spread mixture around the plants.So far it has always worked for me.
well like pippa I managed a small crop of broccoli this year and still getting off shoots. But Cauliflower is my main problem allways bolts seem to have some coming at the moment for winter picking so fingers crossed.
Hi All I have tried to grow cauliflowers for 3 years now and the best I have managed is one about the size of a 10p piece!! The rest have really lush greenery about 2 ft tall but no cauli!! I would be very grateful of any advice. I have dug loads of horse manure and home made compost into the soil over each winter, is this where I am going wrong? Many thanks and happy gardening.
well i'm into my 3rd season of brocoli and i love it, the 1st year was a flop, some went to seed, the rest were blitzed by cabbage white's but since then i've had brocoli from late may til oct, cover the early ones with netting so the butterflys keep off, keep them watered and away you go, i put some seeds in late july, just to try, and they have been just as good, not growing to the huge size of summer, but i've still a dozen in the garden, ready to eat, i would recommend brocoli to grow, i've grown calabrese and lord, planting them in pots then when sturdy enough planted them out, cane them up to stop wind damage, and enjoy
I have tried purple sprouting brocoli this year, lovely strong plants but no heads, can anyone tell me when they will shoot, I planted them out about May time. Thanks

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I to have trouble growing brassicas. No Wonder, slugs, cabbage root fly, caterpillas, club root, pigeons etc etc. I have netted, limed, slug pelleted, root protected, picked off caterpillars on a low effort to reward ratio. I still, like Pippa, grow cauliflower, purple sprouting and brussel sprouts generally the results are disappointing. If someone knows the answer to the perfect brassica without resorting to chemical warefare then let me know.
can any one tell why my cauliflowers always bolt i have tried everything but they always bolt many thanks
All brassicas are very hungry plants so just animal manure is not enough.Nutrient content of animal manure is0.6%of N,0.1%P205 and 0.5% K02 so you have to feed them more.Fish,blood and bone as well as dried blood are organic fertilizers (concentrated organic fert.)not chemicals.
Thanks Onetruelove, I too was beginning to wonder why I had no brocolli. Really strong plants, but no heads! I wait with baited breath.
Don't cauliflowers need loads of water, I was told years ago by an old gert that lived in our road that they and cabbage needed a lot of water to swell the heads.
talking about cabbage white I had them laying eggs on raddish, is nothing sacred, pesky little beasties.
I grow a.y.r cauli in raised beds. dig in lots of compost and manure.two weeks before planting i water the ground well with slug nematodes, repeat every 6 weeks. just before planting i add fish blood and bone allso slow release fertilizer. run soak hose of water butt cover with fine nett away they go. had ots of cauli.

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It is my 1st time growing crops. I bought fleece in bulk online from a horticultural site and used this to cover my calabrese and cabbages using homemade cloches (metal). I also used it to get my seedlings to a good size before planting out. It not only saved the plants from total destruction by the wind, but also kept them nice and warm hence growing so well. Weeding was eradicated as newspaper was put down as a mat with compost (on offer) on top to weigh it down, which leached through to feed plants. Heads were all 6-8" plus across and now the side shoots are coming reaching 2-3" in size. NB Fleece did not completely get rid of caterpillars, but reduced them dramatically, so picking off was still needed. The exception was late september when I guess those caterpillers not caught had their young, by that time the plants were large enough to cope. Being mild (south Devon coast) the fleece was removed to let birds do their job. Within days all the caterpillars were gone! If weather breaks and wind/frost is due then easy to pull fleece back on as protection. However still had to resort to slug pellets, but as undercover could not be accessed by birds etc. My satisfaction is that I have had a bumper crop and still picking. Also I proved to dad that fleece has a positve worth in modern veg gardening!
Aaah, good to hear a bit of mutual agreement that we all have those things which we struggle with - certainly agree though, plenty of moisture is essential as is plenty of manure, and as for protection, it is a must where I live !!
I put some purple sprouting in last year and was much dismayed to get nothing. I left the plants in over winter, and sure enough they threw up lovely tender shoots (fantastic eaten raw)from around February until the middle of April. We had more than we could eat off half a dozen plants.
...here's a link to some interesting guidelines on how to grow broccoli that might be of interest.... http://www.vegetable-garden-guide.com/growing-broccoli.html
For two years now I have tried to grow cabbage. First year they bolted, found out in wrong part of garden. This year prepared ground different part of garden and grew them first in the green house. Planted out when I thought correct time and within three weeks these have bolted!! Help please what am I doing wrong, thought I was following all the correct guide lines!!