Cumming, GA, US

gardening interests: Composting, Container Gardening, Cooking, Culinary Herbs, Edible Landscaping, Fruits and Berries, Gardening with Kids, Organic Gardening, Ornamental Gardening, Square-Foot Gardening, Urban Gardening, Vegetables

Gender: Female

Member Since: 01/27/2011

recent comments

Re: QUESTION: Broccoli with lots of leaves & no stalk

Karen is correct that phosphorus deficiency can cause issues, but if your plants are phosphorus deficient, the undersides of the leaves will have a slight purple tint.

I'm willing to bet that they just need more time. The plants always grow lots of leaves first, then the heads later in the growth cycle. You can see pictures of the regular growth cycle of broccoli, as well as gather more information, at my website here:

Note that the plants will get fairly large before the main head starts to appear.

Best of luck!

Re: QUESTION: broccoli

I'm in zone 7, so I can't really help you with the planting date. I grow broccoli in winter here and know that they can handle temps in the low 40's, but young seedlings don't handle a hard frost or snow well. Can you describe to us the problem you are having with your broccoli? Maybe we can help.

My only forewarning without a description is to note you are getting your seedlings from a nursery. Make sure to select young, small seedlings that are a healthy green color (no yellow leaves and only accept a little purple in the stems.)

A big problem with store bought seedlings is that they button. This is caused by the seedling being stressed when it is young and they never recover from it. Instead they produce heads that are very small (2-3 inches at most) and then immediately go to seed and might produce side shoots.

It's tempting to buy seedlings that look bigger and further along in the growth process, but with brassica crops that can be a big mistake. If they look unhealthy at all, don't attempt to nurse them back to health. They will turn green again but they don't recover, they go to seed the first chance they get. So if that describes your problem at all, make sure to buy young, healthy transplants.

Good luck!


Re: QUESTION: Problem with Tomato Seedlings

I've had this issue before, with heirloom varieties in particular. It could be early blight, and if there is any yellowing of the leaves involved or circular striations, then I would throw out the plant as a precaution (do a quick google image search for "early blight", it will give you an idea of what to look for.)

However, I've had a few heirloom varieties that do this when started indoors, the Cherokee Purple and Costoluto Genovese varieties in particular. Their leaves will curl badly for a few days and then go back to normal. And some of the bottom stems will just completely die and fall off for no apparent reason. However, there is never any yellowing involved. The limbs are green one day and shriveled/dead the next.

I think it is often times just a sign of stress. It usually corrects itself as soon as I get them in the ground and I've never had blight in my garden as a result. Also, it gets worse if I'm not watering regularly. If you are letting them get completely dry, try watering more regularly. They need a consistent moist soil when indoors (not soupy wet, but moderately moist.) It also seems worse in my shorter plants that are not as close to the grow lights, so make sure inadequate lighting is not causing the problem.

Good luck!

Re: Planting Pricey Produce

I plant sugar snap peas because they are $5.99/lb around here. I find that almost any type of fresh herb also qualifies...I can pay $2 for a small pouch of fresh herbs at the store or go tear some off a plant in the backyard any time I want. Backyard please!