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?
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
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.