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Beginner Vegetables: Broccoli plants not producing

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jardindeville
Boston, MA
(Zone 6a)

July 9, 2011
7:59 AM

Post #8681855

I planted two broccoli plants directly into my raised bed garden more than ten weeks ago. The leaves are now large and lush, but there are no crowns. This is mid-July in Zone 6a. Is something wrong?

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Farmerdill
Augusta, GA
(Zone 8a)


July 9, 2011
8:42 AM

Post #8681922

Plant looks good. Did you transplant 10 weeks ago or direct seed 10 weeks ago? Even early varieties take 10-12 weeks from seed. late varieties can take 16 weeks or more.
jardindeville
Boston, MA
(Zone 6a)

July 9, 2011
8:52 AM

Post #8681939

Hi Farmerdill! Thanks for your quick reply. I planted from direct seed, using Belstar hybrid from High Mowing Organic Seeds. I had tried starting the seedlings indoors, but over-watered and none of them produced any true leaves.
Maine_Garden
Sanford, ME

July 11, 2011
8:39 AM

Post #8685754

Mine are very similar,.. I googled broccoli and discovered the following... " small crowns or no crowns is called "buttoning" and is the result of many different issues,... including,... too long in the nursery,... over fertilizing, soil ph, plants growing faster that the stalks,.. etc,... in other words,.. they seem to be a tough plant to grow with consistant success,... Google Broccoli and see what articles are available,... there's alot of advice out there... I did... I am simply going to harvest what I have when it comes up,... and go agin next year
Farmerdill
Augusta, GA
(Zone 8a)


July 11, 2011
10:52 AM

Post #8686033

Jardin, your plants are not buttoning. They one in the photo looks good. Just give the extra 6-8 weeks you would have gained by starting early and transplanting.
flowermehappy
Essex, MA

July 14, 2011
4:08 PM

Post #8692569

Hi Jardin-

I'm in the same area as you- Northshore, MA and have got the same thing going on with my broccoli plants. One plant has produced a few stalks, but they are more like loose sprays than full, rounded heads. And only enough on those stalks for a mouthful. The plants are very tall now- enough so that they're bending over- and very leafy. I also use raised beds. I've been watering every 2 - 3 days when there isn't rain, so I don't think too much water is the problem. Am wondering, do brocc. plants ever need to be trimmed back or something like that? I saw some plants with beautiful, full heads of brocc. at a farm nearby and they were quite low to the ground. Makes me think my plants have put all their energy into getting tall & leafy, though I don't know why.
Farmerdill
Augusta, GA
(Zone 8a)


July 14, 2011
4:19 PM

Post #8692591

Tall and leafy usually means too little sun and/or too crowded. They are heavy feeders so too much nitriogen is a rare occurance. You did not mention variety, but sprouting broccoli does grow tall and leafy and take a long time . In thier time they will produce huge amounts of sideshoots (sprouts)
urbanveggies412
Pittsburgh, PA
(Zone 6a)

July 14, 2011
8:59 PM

Post #8693242

Hey there. I just cut my first broccoli head today. I can't recall what kind it is though. Anyways, I have about 7 plants and about 5 of them are producing crowns. One thing I noticed as to when they are going to start producing broccoli is when the center of the plant starts producing small leaves and the leaves don't seem to grow very large and then one day there is a small crown.
Maine_Garden
Sanford, ME

August 1, 2011
8:38 AM

Post #8729515

After all my worries over my broccoli,... they have turned out great,... I just needed more patience,... I planted a six pack that I purchased from a local nursery about early to mid June,... I have enjoyed many meals of the fresh Broccoli... there's no comparison to the farm stand or store bought,... they are still producing from the "side shoots" but I can see the end is near for them...and as a by product they look great, all my family and friends say they are "beautiful" next to the cabbage and peppers...
AnnFran
East Greenbush, NY

August 1, 2011
12:41 PM

Post #8729936

My broccoli is also all leaves no heads I covered it with a row cover to keep white butterflies from
causing little green worms in my plants. Do you think the row cover inhibited anything?...the weeds sure
had a hayday under the cover...didn't hold them back !!!!
urbanveggies412
Pittsburgh, PA
(Zone 6a)

August 2, 2011
8:57 AM

Post #8731917

AnnFran I did the same thing. The row cover shouldn't have caused any problems unless it blocked too much light or water from getting to the plants or didn't hold back the leaves from growing. Those green worms did a number on my plants before I put the net over top. The butterflies still manage to get in there though. I will have to get a better row cover next year.

Maine_Garden, glad to hear the broccoli came up nicely. :)
ErzsebetF
Swansea, SC
(Zone 8b)

August 3, 2011
10:33 AM

Post #8734294

Wow, broccoli this time of season? I'm in the southeast, so broccoli supposedly won't grow in the extreme heat. I get by this by providing mulch under the plants, and giving them lots of shade. For instance, my broccoli plants are in the far east side of my garden where I get alot of shade in the heat of the day. They are growing between tall tomato vines, and the trellised cucumber vines, so they get the 'natural' shade. I use fish emulsion for fertilizer only, if I don't buy black cow manure or mushroom compost. I have found that miracle grow fertilizer in the garden hose attachment only seems to give me lots of big leafy green but does not really help with blooms or fruiting.
Most broccoli will take 75-80+ days to mature. They like cooler weather and will stop crowning in heat stress, and are more likely to bolt; i.e., flower. Provide shade with air flow, and try to encourage bees or other pollinators to help pollinate. I am always impatient to see my plants crown so I can harvest too...but, usually two months and a bit are broccoli's habit. Good luck with yours!
flowermehappy
Essex, MA

August 3, 2011
3:45 PM

Post #8735014

Thanks for the input Farmerdill and others- maybe I planted sprouting broc, or perhaps I just needed to wait a little longer. Now all of the plants are putting out nice crowns. I decided to do a little trimming and see if that helped- about 2 weeks ago I snipped off some of the outer and lower leaves, leaving about 6 around the top. They started producing soon after that. I'm wondering if that had an effect, or if it was just time for them to sprout...any ideas?
AnnFran
East Greenbush, NY

August 17, 2011
3:00 PM

Post #8761764

I want the world to know that my broccoli has formed lovely heads...I used a row cover so hopefully no worms...what I lacked was patience... Now I'm already planning to plant it next year...hope this wasn't beginners luck!!!..

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

August 18, 2011
3:34 PM

Post #8763523

ErzsebetF -
Quoting:encourage bees or other pollinators to help pollinate


Unless you are growing broccoli for seed, you do not need bees for these vegetables.

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