not their best
having trouble growing brassicas. I end up with lots of leaf but
no hearts. The soil grows potatoes, carrots, beans, peas, beetroots,
corn and tomatoes well, but not brassicas. What are the optimum
conditions for them?
your soil conditions are good, so I think it must be timing. Most
brassicas, including cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and
cabbage, grow best in cool conditions and, in warm parts of the
country, often don't do so well through the heat of summer. They
can grow during summer, but the high temperatures can prevent hearting
and they'll go to seed much more readily.
The ideal time to plant
is in mid to late summer and into autumn, so they do most of their
growing through the cooler months.
Broccoli is a little
more tolerant then the others of warm growing conditions and can
be quite productive through spring and into early summer in some
areas. They need reasonably moist, fertile conditions to encourage
leaf growth, so it may pay to sprinkle a high nitrogen fertiliser
around each plant a couple of weeks after planting and again a few
weeks later. But if you mixed lots of compost into the garden for
your summer tomato and corn crop, there may still be plenty of nutrients
left for the brassicas.
Gardener, Issue 192, 2005, Page 31
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.