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Is my sprouting broccoli beyond saving?

Hi all

It's my first year of gardening after a long hiatus, and I'm learning a lot (loads of which is thanks to you guys).  

One of the things I've learnt is that standard garden netting is not sufficient to keep butterflies away from brassicas!  I now have some scaffold debris netting and will swap the existing stuff for this.  What I wondered though is whether the sprouting broccoli in the photos is too badly damaged?  Or can it be saved if I put the new netting on this weekend (and pick off any caterpillars that are on there now?)   

As ever - huge thanks :)







  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,800

    If you've got nothing else you're desperate to grow in that area of garden, I'd leave them there - pick off every single caterpillar and keep checking for any late hatchings.  Use debris netting to protect the plants and make sure it's higher than the plants so the butterflies can't lay eggs on the leaves through the tiny holes.  

    If the autumn weather is kind to us they'll put on some more growth, and as the broccoli spears grow out of the joints between the leaves and the main stem, you may well get a reasonable crop.  

    I once had some sprouting broccoli on an allotment that were so damaged by horrendous weather and the depredations of wood pigeons that I was going to pull them up, but being a busy young mum I just didn't get around to it.  image

    The neighbouring allotment holders' broccoli was in a similarly terrible state, and they all pulled theirs up.

    By the time of the Village Horticultural Show in April, my sprouting broccoli had recovered so well that it was cropping well and won second prize in the show - it was the only entry 'cos it was the only broccoli in the village image

    Good luck image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Nice story!  :)

    OK, so I'll give it my best shot.  I'll get the caterpillars off and put the new netting on today.  Can't imagine it will win any awards but a bit of a crop will be reward enough.

    Thanks for the reply.  

    (PS - I might be back later with some more general sprouting broccoli questions).

    Last edited: 22 August 2016 14:45:11

  • Hi

    Back again with those questions...  :)

    I've read that you need to cut off the florets if they are flowering.  The only florets I have had so far are weedy, small and on very long stringy side stems, and they have almost instantly flowered.  So...

    1.  If I do need to cut off the flowering florets, at what distance from the stem should I do it?  Does it work like cut and come again, or once I have cut is that it?  

    2.  What can I do to help my broccoli have more substantial florets?  

    Any other general tips would also be most helpful.  

    Many thanks


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,800

    When did you sow the seed for these broccoli plants?  This year or last?  If you sowed the seed this year they shouldn't be producing flowering shoots until next spring. 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

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