Anyone start fall brassicas yet?


#1

Was wondering if anyone has started their fall brassicas? I planted Fiesta broccoli and Impala Cabbage on 7/5, 6 more Fiesta brocs, 3 more Impala cabbage, 3 Emiko Napa cabbages and 3 cauliflower on 7/15, and 3 kohlrabi on 7/18. My plan is to keep planting more stuff every week because I have had a hard time getting all the seedlings to survive until I plant them. I am going to put them where the corn is once the corn is done. I hope to have enough cabbage and kohlrabi to last me into the winter and enough broccoli to process and freeze.


#2

Started mine about 10 days ago, along with lettuce

Got their first true leaves now. Planning to put them out beginning of August, weather permitting


#3

I put in bok choy and broccoli rabe on Sunday, directly sowed into the garden. The weather we’ve been having here, with intermittent showers that are heavy at times, has been perfect. Looks like about all of the seeds sprouted.


#4

Im planning to start mine this weekend. Cant believe its almost fall!!


#5

It always sneaks up on me and most years I wait too long. I planted about 30 more plants last night and will just keep going every week in the hopes that some of them make it.


#6

Started mine last week. After several years of no problems with growing transplants from seed, the last few years I keep having the same problem: the cotyledons begin to shrivel up just as the first leaves appear. It then progresses until the true leaves do the same. It’s not the seed because I have not seen this problem when direct sowing outdoors. There is no wilting, just shriveling. The stem looks healthy all along. It’s not damping off. I’ve tried different lights, planting media and fertility regimens and cannot figure it out. Anyone seen this before? Will post a photo when I get a chance.


#7

Mine are just sprouting.


#8

Here’s the photo of my shriveling cotyledons. Anyone had this happen?


#9

Those look much better than mine. I actually think they will make it and be fine barring other problems.


#10

In my zone…or maybe just in my garden…putting out plants in August is the kiss of death…even with lots of spraying and other protections from sun, weather and bugs. So all gardening is local.

My soil/air temp is too hot July/Aug to get good germination of brassicas. I sow into small trays mid July (inside) to get good germination and then prick out into cells 1st of Aug and grow on outside in small protected area. At the 6 week mark (~Sept 1st) when there is room in the garden and they can stand the assault, they go out.

@barry to me this looks like a combo of root damage and too high lighting where the leaves cannot get enough moisture up to meet the heat/light load, so the edges wilt and eventually the whole leaf. I find small plants do not need ferts, some of which can burn the roots. Some folks are also concerned that their brassicas don’t get leggy so they supply lots of light…and maybe over do a little bit too much. Well just my thoughts.

Edit: a few other thoughts. To avoid legginess you do need lots of light but it needs to be cool also to avoid too much transpiration from leaves to cool off. Also if your soil is recycled and not solarized, there may nematodes in it which a root autopsy may show.


#11

Here you can get away with summer sowing, but I still choose “heat resistant” varieties and sow in partial shade.

My neighbor grows romaine lettuce all the way through the entire gardening season, something that probably wouldn’t be done if we were further south.


#12

I seed in the basement and keep the seedlings there under lights. We’re having a cool spell now so I just brought them up to start hardening.

Waiting til Sept here, not enough time left til shut-down


#13

Hey Anne, what is the protected area? Does it deter flea beetles and cabbage butterflies? Is it partial shade? I was keeping mine in plastic cells in a fabric high tunnel but there is a lot of flea beetle damage and even some cabbage butterfly caterpillars because I vented it to keep the temp down.

I’m always confused by the recommended timing of starting these seedlings. The package says 60 days for a lot of them, but all the recommendations are start them in mid July and grow at a cooler temperature. I don’t have that, nor do a lot of others. My instinct would be to start them in Sept with the goal of harvest after the last frost, which is Nov 15th in my region.

I just started 72 more broccoli and cauliflower because the last round looks pretty beat up. I hope to get half in the ground once the corn is done.


#14

Thanks for the tips. They were in the basement under florescent lights. I start tomato melons peppers with the same setup and have no problems. It’s about 75 F in the room. The roots look fine and stem is strong. I’ll try less light when I plant more next week. I wash the pots, sometimes bleach, have same problem regardless.


#15

Yes, so do I, but those are summer plants and handle heat better than brassicas. Have you ever put brassica leaves in the dehydrator? That’s kinda what the leaves in your picture look like to me.

They can take the light but not the heat that comes with it, and a fan won’t help as it tends to desiccate too.

Have you put a thermometer under the lights where the leaves are when the lights have been on, say for 2 hours? That’s the temp you should be looking at.
Glad you have no soil/root issues.


#16

I put out a folding table in Aug in an area that gets morning to mid day sun and is shaded say, after 2PM. I cobble a temp PVC frame on top over which I put netting and sometimes aluminet, I cobble a support inside it for holding a window to protect seedlings from heavy rain. I took pics of it last year before I disassembled it. It is temp and may not stand a hurricane, I don’t think.
IMG_1570

Exactly, and this is the challenge we have to work with esp in my zone. So as I mentioned, I germinate inside (sometimes above the AC vent, spinach is in frig), prick out into cells (burying the legginess if any) and set in here. Put out slug bait and spray with spinosad and Bt, sometimes with pyganic. Don’t need much b/c the area/plants are small. Sometimes I’ll use a dust with some cayenne. Aug and even into Sept is BRUTAL here. But if you can protect your small plants through this 6 week period, they will feed you nicely all winter…at least here in my garden - all gardening is local and all gardens have their unique challenges. :blush:
In Sept you can sow things like cilantro, lettuce and pak choi which grow quickly, and I’ll do onions for scallions which tolerate cold well and harvest them all winter.


#17

Anne,

thanks for the picture. I went out last night and rigged up something similar to start my brassicas in. They were getting tormented by flea beetles. Hopefully I can have some better luck now.


#18

I’m putting mine under netting when I set them out - an event postponed to next week after the heat this weekend

Flea beetles are worst on bok choi in the fall


#19

Thanks for your suggestions justanne. Since my last post I started seed outdoors under row cover. It is in the low 90s out there. No problem. They are growing well even in the same exact cells the indoor seeded ones just died in a few weeks ago. Weird. I also direct seeded in the garden. No problem. Growing well. It is so hot a couple times they had wilted and fallen over. I watered and they perked and continue good growth. Must be something with the lights indoors as you suggested.