is my broccoli starting to set flower way too early? the one next to it is half the size, and 4 i planted a week or two later that got stunted in the container, still only have 4 or 5 leaves and are short
Yes it appears to be buttoning. Edible just won't get any size.
Sorry but yeah. The weather just isn't cooperating with cole crops this year for many of us. We'll hopefully have better luck with a fall crops of them.
Zone 5, Seems early to have broccoli with heads unless your growing them under row covers.
Zone Numbers don't mean much when it come to veggies gardening. You have to specify what the temperatures pattern you have. In some zone 5, 6 the weather warms up very fast. I am in zone 7b/8. I can practically grow cole crops all summer long on partial shade.
Farther down the stalk I see the beginnings of secondary sprouts, so you may have a plant that will produce more florets after the first one is harvested.
A friend gave me some extra seedlings she had bought and they were so overgrown that they produced half inch buttons when they were only ten inches tall. Home grown seedlings that are babied and suffer no growth interruptions never do this.
I'm in zone 5. I bought broccoli plants and planted them about 5-6 weeks ago. I was happy 'cause it's been unusually cool here, and all I have planted is cool things. But the broccoli is already almost past good eating....... Don't know why it happened so quickly in cool weather......except maybe they were too far along when I bought them.
This post was edited by catherinet on Thu, May 15, 14 at 9:10
Yes, you can never tell what's been going on with plants purchased commercially.
Several things can cause poor head development on broccoli - temp extremes (too cold just as much as too hot), inconsistent soil moisture levels, insufficient nutrients, aged transplants, etc.
Spring weather and temperature fluctuations, especially in years such as this has been for much of the country, can make growing broccoli a true challenge.
Plus "cool weather: crops means different things to different people. Cool doesn't equal "cold".
Actually zones can make a difference, Zone 5 is going to be different then zone 7 when it comes to planting, Zone 7 thru 10 should have warmer temps the someone in zone 6 thru 4, Therefor warmer temps you would be planting warm season crops, I'm in zone 6 and just planted my broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower the first week of April and it is looking good but it really didn't take off untill the last couple of weeks.
My earliest broccoli, started in Feb and planted out at beginning of April, is now starting to form heads. What they'll become is still up in the air. They went through some frost and and purpling phase.
Here in NJ the weather has been horrible this year - 40s/50s to mid 80s and back within a few days - and really windy. My broccoli took a bearing from wind/cold right after transplant, has come back nicely (although small and now behind schedule) and is getting hit with bad wind again today. Most of the commercial growers here have significantly reduced the amount of cold weather crops to reduce risk because of bad weather this year.
My broccoli has been perhaps a little bit slower, but looks ok so far....would head in about 3 weeks I would guess for the early crop.
it was around 80-85 for the better part of a week, its in one of those self watering grown boxes with the reservoirs underneath, so its had consistent moisture
I started my broccoli seeds in Feb and transplanted them the first week of April but they too are following behind, They are looking real good but should be about 2 to 3 weeks more ahead.
We've had the same Maple!! Broccoli is so unpredictable. Ive had plants that I babied sit all season and never produce a head at all.....and I've had plants survive through Nebraska winters (fall planted) produce beautiful heads in early spring! I stopped planting cauliflower because of their unpredictability. But man home grown broccoli is so good!!! I may experiment this fall with overwintering again. That happened accidentally but was a nice surprise.
My broccoli report:
Winter sowed 2 varieties... packman and early girl hybrid. Germination was good and I planted out about the 15th of April. The plants have grown well... big leaves, but haven't grown to tall. I have heads forming, with the largest one being about the size of a silver dollar and they don't look like they are getting to the flowering stage (still tight heads). Like everyone else's, we've had wildly fluctuating weather temps (lows to 25 some nites in april and almost 90 the other day).
A little off topic, winter sown cabbage and cauliflower are doing well and hope to harvest cabbage sometime in the next 30 days.
ps, will try to get a picture in the next day or 2.