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Growing Cauliflowers and Broccoli

Hello,

Wondering if anyone can help with some advise on growing cauliflowers and broccoli?

I've had my allotment for three years and really want to make a success of growing cauliflowers and broccoli.

However, for the past two seasons my cauliflowers and broccoli have both bolted and I just can't seem to catch them right.

I normally plant them around April & May if that helps with advice.

What am I doing wrong?
When should they be planted?
How should I plant them and what would you add to the ground?
Can you also over winter them so you have a 2nd batch ready for this time of the year?





Posts

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,923
    edited May 2020
    I don’t grow cauliflowers ... they can be tricky and I don’t have a lot of space and also the land here is very light, so I leave them to the farmers. 
    But I grow a few sprouting broccoli plants every year. I’ll be sowing some soon and will prick them out and plant them on into modules and then pots, planting them out into the garden probably in July when I can find a bit of space ... perhaps in the patch where the French beans are at the moment.  They overwinter and we harvest in March/April. 

    They need plenty of watering on this light soil so they don’t bolt.  They were easier when I lived in mid Suffolk and had an allotment on heavy clay ... we never needed to water them after they’d been planted out. 

    This site gives some interesting tips https://www.cottagesmallholder.com/home-grown-purple-sprouting-broccoli-282/

    Good luck ... love PSB 😋 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.





  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286
    I've never had any luck with either of them on London clay here in Essex. Can grow Brussels sprouts fine though. Tried several times, read all I could, always bolted.
  • nick615nick615 Posts: 1,481
    I thought originally that brassicas like an alkaline soil but I didn't do too well with either caulis or broccoli.  Then the postman told me that these two varieties like a bit of acidity to help form the florets, unlike their cousins.  I no longer do caulis but have good results with purple sprouting broccoli that we enjoy.  I simply hold back on the lime granules I used to give them.
  • amberspyamberspy Posts: 382
    I’m going follow this with interest as I’m hoping to grow both in large raised bedding soon so looking for tips 
    I’ve never grown any veg before 
    aware it’s mite not work but least I tryed right lol
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,384
    As Dove says, they aren't the easiest veg to grow but I have 'cracked it' over the years.  I'm on improved (by me) clay soil:
    • Sow thinly and prick-out or thin plants early - basically don't let seedlings grow too close to each other.  This is related to the next point.
    • DO NOT LET THE PLANTS DRY OUT OR WILT AT ANY STAGE!
    • Prepare the ground well with lots of well-rotted manure.  Just before planting out, sprinkle FBB (or other fertilizer which will provide nitrogen over a long period) over the area.
    • Plant them out when they have 5 true leaves and bury the stem right up the the lowest leaf joint (I sometimes go a little deeper and part-bury lowest leaves too.)
    • Firm the ground well around the roots - put your whole weight on your hands or use your feet to do that.
    • DO NOT LET THE PLANTS DRY OUT OR WILT AT ANY STAGE!
    • Protect from woodpigeons, rabbits, slugs, snails & butterflies.
    • DO NOT LET THE PLANTS DRY OUT OR WILT AT ANY STAGE!
    Hopefully, that will help.  Oh, nearly forgot: DO NOT LET THE PLANTS DRY OUT OR WILT AT ANY STAGE! :D:wink:


    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
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