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Help with wilting cauliflower plants


 
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sorcha
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:01 pm    Post subject: Help with wilting cauliflower plants Reply with quote

I bought some cauliflower plants in the local garden centre a few weeks ago and started to try and harden them off last week, but they seem to be reacting very badly to the great outdoors. They each have two big leaves and two smaller ones (like a tomato truss) lower down - the smaller ones have nearly all fallen off and the larger leaves are wilted and yellow, with some bits kind of crumbling at the corners to a kind of gray-brown shade. The onions I've been hardening off with them are totally unaffected.

I'm assuming that I'm doing something horribly wrong, because they really, really don't look happy. The leaf damage looks like the pictures of frost or wind damage in my vegetable book, so I reckoned that I've been putting them out when the temperature was still too low and/or it's too windy, so I stopped for a few days until the weather got better. But, it's been lovely and warm this week and the same thing has been happening! They're just getting limper and limper and more leaves are falling off.

So, my question is that if it is wind/frost damage, can I do anything to revive the plants or are they just going to die on me? Keep them inside a bit longer? Plant food? Water them more? Water them less? I have a really poor quality mobile phone pic, if it would be any help and if I can figure out how to post it. Help!
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crosseyedsheep
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pics would help, here's a guide on how to post pics:
http://www.gardenplansireland.com/forum/about32.html

Were the plants inside or outside in the garden centre?

There has been some really cold nights lately, I haven't actually planted anything out yet except some spuds. It could be weather damage. But it could be something else. Examine the plants at ground level, see if there's a narrower dried out/wilted bit of stem there. If there is it could be that the plants have been effected by the damping off virus, if they have I'd bring them back to the garden centre, this happened me last year.

On the up side, they might recover, I've often seen cabbage plants look really wilted after planting, although yours seem to have gone a stage further.

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Sb
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 11:50 am    Post subject: Re: Help with wilting cauliflower plants Reply with quote

sorcha wrote:
I bought some cauliflower plants in the local garden centre a few weeks ago


Were they in trays or barerooted?
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sorcha
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sb: they are in a little black tray, very close together, with little hollows filled with white granules, possibly of that water-retentive stuff. The compost was very damp when I bought them, so part of the problem is possibly that I'm not keeping them watered up to the standard to which they had become accustomed.

crosseyedsheep: The bottom bit of the stems seems to be fine, apart from the fact that the lower leaves have all dropped off. This is a (really bad) photo from my phone - anything that looks white in it is actually pale brown when you look at the actual plants, as it seems to have picked up some sort of reflections. There are no holes in the leaves - they are thin, crumpled patches, fading from green to yellow and out to pale brown.

http://images.fotopic.net/?iid=ytq7u3&noresize=1&nostamp=1&quality=70
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crosseyedsheep
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are the ones you've planted allready showing any signs of recovering?
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sorcha
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't planted any of them yet - I've been keeping them inside for the last while and making sure I water them well. They're not wilting any more than they were, but they really don't look any better than before.

I guess that it was just one-off damage and I just need to wait for it to get a bit warmer before I start hardening them off again...
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cooler
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sorcha I reckon they will fly it once they get into open soil.
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sorcha
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After all that, I ended up abandoning the plants, because they really didn't look like they were going anywhere other than the compost bin. I bought a new set of little plants from a different gardening centre, making sure they came from outside and they are doing amazingly well - this is what they looked like a couple of weeks ago:



We might have cauliflower yet!
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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sorcha wrote:

We might have cauliflower yet!


Looked to be a heavy hand application of insecticide/herbicide/fugicide by someone other than yourself did the damage on the last plants.

Anyway, you are now back in action and looking well. Smile
Good to see.

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sorcha
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I'm back again, with another question about the other end of cauliflower growing! The second lot that I bought developed nicely, particularly once I covered them with a layer of fleece to keep the cabbage white butterflies off (funny, how you go from thinking 'oh, how pretty!' to 'get off my brassicas!'). Photo from about two weeks ago:



In true novice fashion, I had twelve plants, all of which matured pretty much within a week of each other, and I wasn't entirely sure when you were supposed to pick them, so I've ended up with a glut of possibly over-ripe cauliflower, if that's possible. With all the rain in the last couple of weeks, the snails and slugs have been having a field day and their favourite target seems to be cauliflower. I've just given up and picked all the rest, barring three very small ones, but they're all rather blackened and discoloured. I've given them a good wash to get any slugsh*t and any stragglers off, but some of the actual curds are kinda blackened, as well as some of the leaves.



So, are these safe to eat or should they be heading straight for the compost bin?
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birdie
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sure about safe sorcha, but they will definatly taste off as I have tried them like that before. Not from my garden but from shop bought ones. I suppose if it was layered with some sort of sauce to disguise it then you may not notice. Looks like some form of fungal attack to me. If you try them let me know how you fare. Shocked
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corfiot
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorcha,not that this will help with the mould??But you only need to bend the large outer leaves over the curd to keep it white.But saying that with the rain lately they will probably swim off Evil or Very Mad
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sorcha
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

corfiot: Yeah, I had the leaves tied together over the curds since they started, so it's not that, I think.

birdie: Will try that - I think we're going to be eating curried cauliflower for a while!
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