Broccoli Seed Start Woes
I'm hoping someone here will have some advice!
I have been seed starting for several years now, and I am very careful, rigorous, etc. I throw myself into my garden every year and seed starting is kind of a ritual now! All this is just to say that I'm not doing this as a back-burner hobby. I really pay attention and try my hardest. And most of the time, I have had very good results.
However...I have never in all my years been able to start broccoli successfully! What am I doing wrong? I have a large set-up of florescent lights, I use two different kinds of grow bulbs for the best spectrum possible, I keep the lights close to the plants, and I use the APS system, which waters consistently from the bottom.
Yet every year my broccoli are leggy, tall, and unruly. I have broccoli starts right now, growing next to beautiful, perfectly formed geraniums and other annuals, great-looking alliums, and healthy cabbage. But the broccoli are all over the place! It's the same thing every year. They get long, stringy, and leggy. The stem near the soil line is thin and flimsy.
Am I not getting the light close enough? Is there another secret to growing broccoli I don't know about? I am deciding whether or not to rip these little starts out and begin again. I started very early bc I've had this problem before and I wanted enough time to re-do the broccoli if necessary, but that time is upon me, if I'm going to try again. I just don't see how these seedlings can become healthy broccoli plants!
Any advice or suggestions?