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Old December 11, 2018   #46
Nan_PA_6b
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Does anyone have a pic of the eggs?
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Old December 12, 2018   #47
PlainJane
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If memory serves they are typically white or yellow, and glued down in a circular pattern on the undersides of the leaves. Anything I find gets scraped off ...
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Old December 12, 2018   #48
brownrexx
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You don't need a floating row cover, just something that has holes smaller than the cabbage butterflies so that they can't lay their eggs on the plants.

This is a pic of my cabbage but I bought some cheap tulle fabric last year and made a cover and it worked great to exclude the pests. Aphids could get through but I don't have a problem with those.


DSC00392 by Brownrexx, on Flickr
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Old December 12, 2018   #49
PlainJane
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I just got a similar light fabric to cover my cukes against the bane of my existence, pickle worm. Haven’t had much of a problem so far on the brassicas, kow.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #50
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I started my Amazing cauliflower and have sprouts!
Alas, they are turning yellow almost from the minute they sprouted.
They have been overwatered and I didn't remove the red Saran wrap for a day. Could these be the cause?
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #51
brownrexx
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It really sounds like over-watering could have done that.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #52
loulac
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To fight bugs I grow my caulifowers under a plastic tunnel with fine meshes, same thing with carrots.
I'm surprised nobody insisted on the need of lots of manure. Gardeners who are lucky enough to live on or near a farm will never use too much of it. I agree they don't like heat but a choice of the right varieties will bring nice crops in late autumn, winter and spring. I've tried to can or deep-freeze some but with poor results. If someone can help...


all the best
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #53
TomNJ
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Here is an observation, but given the number of important variables it may not be meaningful.

In 2013 I started a new garden in Virginia and was late transplanting outside some of my crops. I started the cauliflower (and broccoli) indoors in 3.5" plastic pots in February, but couldn't get them transplanted outside until April 23rd, a full two months later. I was getting worried that they were getting tall and root bound but planted them out anyway. The result was 24 out of 24 beautiful large white heads of cauliflower (and a great crop of broccoli as well).

Every year since my cauliflower was terrible, even with the same variety (Snowball X). In fact that same year 2013 my fall planting produced 0 heads from 24 plants. One variable is that all of these subsequent plantings were put out at my normal 5 week old seedling stage instead of the two month old seedlings that produced the great crop of 2013. I'm thinking that the stress of being root bound may have pushed the plants to head, but that is just a theory based on a single observation.

Has anyone else noticed a correlation of seedling age to productivity in cauliflower?
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #54
Tormato
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomNJ View Post
Here is an observation, but given the number of important variables it may not be meaningful.

In 2013 I started a new garden in Virginia and was late transplanting outside some of my crops. I started the cauliflower (and broccoli) indoors in 3.5" plastic pots in February, but couldn't get them transplanted outside until April 23rd, a full two months later. I was getting worried that they were getting tall and root bound but planted them out anyway. The result was 24 out of 24 beautiful large white heads of cauliflower (and a great crop of broccoli as well).

Every year since my cauliflower was terrible, even with the same variety (Snowball X). In fact that same year 2013 my fall planting produced 0 heads from 24 plants. One variable is that all of these subsequent plantings were put out at my normal 5 week old seedling stage instead of the two month old seedlings that produced the great crop of 2013. I'm thinking that the stress of being root bound may have pushed the plants to head, but that is just a theory based on a single observation.

Has anyone else noticed a correlation of seedling age to productivity in cauliflower?


It sounds plausible. Did you record your weather, or remember if that could have been a factor?
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #55
TomNJ
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I did not record the weather that year, which is of course a major variable. The weather varies slightly every year, but five consecutive years of failed cauliflower hints at some other cause. I mulch the garden and manage the water and fertilizer so I don't think they are the cause, and I control green caterpillars with BT. The plants look great, just no heads.

I just remembered that two years ago I saw four cauliflower seedlings at a garden shop and added them to the 12 I grew from seed. These store bought plants were in small pots and seemed a bit large for the pot size. These four all headed while all 12 of my seedlings did not.

I think I will start this year's cauliflower seedlings now and put them out at maybe 8-9 weeks to see if that helps.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #56
PlainJane
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I normally have great success with cauliflower, with in my observation the controlling factor being temperature. 3 years ago we had a cooler, more consistent winter and I was giving cauliflower away.
Last 2 years have seen wild swings in temperature and stretches of days in the 80s. Out of 30 plants I’ve harvested 2 nice heads and have only a few more looking like they will head up.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #57
bower
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We don't regularly grow cauliflower here because our season is too short, but I'll chime in a +1 on row cover for brassicas. I am old enough to remember growing broccoli without it - my Dad was really determined to have it every year and while he made nice heads, the number of caterpillars we consumed over the years was... Those little suckers are bitter! The only save is that they change color when steamed so you have a better chance to pick em off your plate.
The organic brassicas including broccoli at my friend's farm are immaculate - only thanks to the row cover. It is really a miracle product for organic growing. Kale and other brassica greens are only covered until they get started, so BT is still required from time to time. Rotation does make a difference! The worst infest is always where you sowed brassicas two years in a row...
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #58
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Thanks everybody for all the advice so far! I'm in Pittsburgh, PA. I've started my cauliflower; does anyone have ideas about when I should put it out? According to TomNJ, it would go out May 1 or so?
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #59
TomNJ
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May 1st sounds a bit late. In my best year I planted them out on April 23rd here in Zone 6B.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #60
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I looked at my notes from last year and I planted my cauliflower and cabbage seedlings outside on April 18 last year.

I did harden them off a bit first on the protected back porch.
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