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I've found your book very helpful and fun to read. I have been having a problem with my sprouting broccoli. For the last two years, I've started a dozen plants in June/July. More than half of my plants go on to develop a soft spot in the middle of the stem in mid-winter (sometime between December and February). The plants then wilt and die. I pull them up and the roots look fine and I don't see any insect damage. Do you know what this is or how to prevent it?
Thanks in advance!
Wednesday 17 August 2011 11:06:35 am
This happens to some of my plants too--more often in the last two winters than in previous years. The stems are being injured, then the damaged tissue rots. Given the high winds and, at my house, very heavy wet snow at times, this may be the cause of the injury; extreme cold snaps could also damage tissue too. In my garden the injury seems to happens more to the tallest plants so I try to time seeding (late June) so that purple sprouting broccoli is less than 2 feet high for the winter. I always plant extras to allow for winter losses and stake up plants to prevent them from breaking in the wind or snow. When temperatures are expected to drop below -5 degrees C over night you might want to throw a tarp or sheet of plastic sheet over the plants until the weather warms.
Lets hope for a better winter this year!