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Kinky brassicas

CAN you tell me why so many of my brassica seedlings develop a right-angled kink near the base of the stem, even when grown in good light?


THIS got me thinking and checking out lots of brassicas. I hadn't given it much thought, but you are right about many of them having a sharp bend near the base of the plant. As far as I can tell, the kink occurs at the point where the cotyledons existed. Cotyledons are the seedling leaves, the first two leaves produced when the seed germinates. If the seedling gets a bit leggy, the kink that eventually forms is more obvious than if the seedling is short and stocky.

When planting out seedlings in the garden, many people put them in deeper than before, so the kink ends up below soil level, but if seedlings are left to grow to maturity without transplanting, the kink is often quite obvious. It's actually quite a good idea to plant brassica seedlings a little deeper than normal, as they can sometimes get rather top heavy and floppy.

Weekend Gardener, Issue 185, 2005, Page 30

Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.

Andrew Maloy Weekend Gardener

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