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Broccoli - Lots of leaves and not much else?

Shoxt3rShoxt3r Posts: 188
Hi there,

I've had my broccoli plants in since mid-March and in the last couple of weeks they have really grown up.

I've been feeding them using Phostrogen All Purpose Plant Food in the last month or so once a week since they became a bit more established. However, what i've noticed is that the leaves are taking over quite a bit and the flower is still quite small.

Do you think they are being overfed or is something else wrong? The leaves are also starting to yellow a bit.

Any thoughts?




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  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,172
    If you cut out the central  Flower and use  it, it will sprout lots of side shoots. Do you know the variety?
    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • Shoxt3rShoxt3r Posts: 188
    Ah great - when is best to cut this off? Presumably I can do this with secateurs?
    These are the Autumn Calabrese variety.
  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 1,715
    We gave up on them after waiting nearly 2 years before we had any thing that was worth harvesting. Hope you have more success than us.
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 5,328
    If they are Autumn Calibrese then it's just a bit early.  All brassicas respond really well to seaweed based feeds. 
    AB Still learning

  • SkandiSkandi Northern DenmarkPosts: 1,511
    That head is as big as it's going to get, cut it now and then as already said you can eat the side shoots, I would say that those plants are crowded which is probably why they have produced small heads.
  • Shoxt3rShoxt3r Posts: 188
    If they are Autumn Calibrese then it's just a bit early.  All brassicas respond really well to seaweed based feeds. 
    Shall I give it a bit more time in that case or is it as good as it's going to get?

    Skandi said:
    That head is as big as it's going to get, cut it now and then as already said you can eat the side shoots, I would say that those plants are crowded which is probably why they have produced small heads.
    Ah ok that's a shame... what is the ideal spacing between each plant? I initially had 9 in that plot (with another 9 small plants growing up in the bed next to this one) but some have been eaten or died off naturally.
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,172
    Just use a sharp knife to slice off the head.  I put them about 18 inches apart. It seems excessive when they go in but the leaves are soon touching each other.  I always harvest small and sweet , rather than large and tough as old boots.   The tenderness is what sets home produced veggies apart from the shop bought.
    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • nick615nick615 SW IrelandPosts: 1,116
    My information source tells me that MOST brassicas like an alkaline soil BUT, those like cauliflowers and broccoli need a more acidic soil to help develop the florets you're after.  We're cropping ours now, but not in any huge quantities I must admit.
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 5,328
    For future reference,  I  found that  various brassicas weren't hearting up or producing good heads. I started to use rock dust, (Remin, crushed  volcanic rock) it adds essential minerals to the soil. It is slow acting and needs to be applied at the start of the season, but seems to do the trick. 
    AB Still learning

  • Shoxt3rShoxt3r Posts: 188
    Ah ok interesting - thanks for the insights everyone!
    We've recently done a PH soil test and it's come out as Neutral so I presume it needs to be more alkaline?

    I will cut the heads off and also space out the others and see what happens I suppose! It seems like it's been quite a slow year for fruit/veg anyway - we have had a pretty average summer and the tomato plants have only really got to the flowering stage in the last week or so.
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