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broccoli plug plants

I bought some broccoli plug plants a few weeks ago. They looked healthy and disease free but because hot weather was forecast I did not put them in the ground. I kept them in a bright place on the patio in their plug containers where they got good direct sunlight, but not all day, although the place in which they are stays bright through the day. They now look like this...

in addition to the eaten leaves there is profusion of white bits on the soil. 

Not sure what to do next. Don't want to lose them...don't want to infect my veg patch, which is in a sunny place and has beetroot (also from plug plants bought at the same time/place as the broccoli), carrots, spinach beets and swiss chard grown from seed, and lovely edible flowers.

Ideally, I would like to rescue them. Happy to put them in the soil or a large 60 cm trough. (I have 3 troughs).

I hope someone can help.


  • mugwogmugwog Posts: 16
    Forgot say, I watered them carefully. So they are not parched.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,104
    That looks like slug damage to me. 

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

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 22,633
    I think slug damage too, but I also think they are hungry and stunted. It would have been better to have either planted them out or potted them on into bigger pots in fresh compost.  I planted out Brussels Sprouts a few weeks ago and they are now much bigger and deep green.

    I think the white bits could be perlite, used to help drainage.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • nick615nick615 Posts: 1,462
    The following extract might help:

    A piece of square section, hard timber, sharpened to a point, will produce a suitable hole, and a piece of spare copper tube will make a perfectly serviceable handle (See illustration).  Having teased each plant from the tray with its compost intact, it will fit snugly into its hole, and a dusting of loose soil brushed round it will complete the operation.

    Put a few chicken manure pellets into each hole before your plants and water thoroughly afterwards for several days.  They should recover.

  • mugwogmugwog Posts: 16
    Thank you Dovefromabove, Busy-Lizzie and Nick615.  

    Nick615, my in-house garden engineer (!) did something similar and we planted the broccoli plugs into our veg patch earlier this evening just before I saw your response. But we did not use chicken pellets. We used multi-purpose compost. We soaked the plants and will water thoroughly as you recommend. Fingers crossed.  

    Busy-Lizzie and Dovefromabove, thank you for identifying slug damage and putting my mind at rest about the perlite (how ignorant am I). 

  • nick615nick615 Posts: 1,462
    Never mind, mugwog.  I can only pass on what works for me, but it doesn't exclude other methods.  My GE (the Postie) says brassicas whose florets are cropped, e.g. PSB and cauliflowers, unlike the others need some acidity in the soil to 'set' the florets.  Good luck!
  • mugwogmugwog Posts: 16
    Thanks again.
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