Vanisle_BC
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Veggies with weak or lazy stems

Some of my vegetable plants - specially coles like broccoli - want to sag along the ground before bending upright, and they often need support as they get bigger. Is this normal or a sign of something lacking in my soil? I'm nowhere near a testing facility. I fertilize with a mix of seed meal, bone meal, lime & kelp, plus compost that's likely nitrogen-heavy from grass clippings. I'm not a 'scientific' composter :). Tall flowers also have trouble holding themselves upright - Hollyhock, Delphinium; they do have straight stems but lean from the base. Maybe a sign of poor root development? I don't grow many of those and they get largely neglected as far as fertilizer's concerned.
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applestar
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Re: Veggies with weak or lazy stems

If your broccoli has hollow stems, I have recently learned that this is due to boron deficiency. I have had this before in my broccoli, and was trying to ID the cause. Borax can be used to provide boron and it is lacking in soil east of the “Rockies” according to one source. I’m not sure about your location, but if using bagged soil for raised beds, then that might explain it.

Otherwise, I think leaning and flopping is most often due to insufficient light or too close planting.
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Vanisle_BC
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Re: Veggies with weak or lazy stems

Applestar, thanks, but none of those conditions seems to apply (unless my broccoli has a secretly hollow stem.) I'm not east of the rockies - not east of anything except the Pacific :), not using bagged soil etc. and this happens even with "standalone" plants. I wonder if it's just a normal growth pattern but I can't think why.

Does no one else on the forum notice it? It's as if the plant is initially too weak to hold itself fully upright but the growing stem eventually thickens, hardens and bends up towards the light.
"The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior." H. D.Thoreau. (Me too.)

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Veggies with weak or lazy stems

I don't have an answer for it, but I can say that it is not normal and I have never seen it. The fact that it is affecting other things besides the broccoli does suggest it is a soil/ nutrient problem, not a disease. Too much nitrogen can cause plants to get tall very fast, which would tend to make them a bit floppier.
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Vanisle_BC
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Re: Veggies with weak or lazy stems

This is a picture of my broccoli stem, after it's been tied up for about a week, and forced to start straightening. It's only since I took the photo that I've noticed what looks like a scarred area near the bottom. I haven't examined it closely yet.

Interruption here - a passing car lost a wheel and apparently it's in my neighbour's yard; the wheel, not the car - IT is about 1/4 mile down the road and listing somewhat.

Sorry the pic is poorly focused, and sideways again. Somebody please tell me how to stop that happening?
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Broccoli stem.JPG
"The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior." H. D.Thoreau. (Me too.)

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applestar
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Re: Veggies with weak or lazy stems

Ah ha! I think that scarring might be the seedleaf node. Didn’t you say you direct sow these?

I start them in the house, and when I uppot, I need to bury them up to the base of the first set of trueleaves or they ARE weaker. The hypocotyl — the stem below the cotyldon/seedleaves are thinner than the stalk that form above them.

This is true of cabbage as well.

It’s possible what you need to do with directly sown broccoli, etc. is to “hill” them up.

...

The photo — I used to get this. Your camera/phone may have auto orientation correct so it looks normal but actually, when you took the picture, you failed to make sure the camera registered the way you are holding it and it was sideways.
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applestar
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Re: Veggies with weak or lazy stems

How does a car lose a wheel? :shock:
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Vanisle_BC
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Re: Veggies with weak or lazy stems

applestar wrote:Ah ha! I think that scarring might be the seedleaf node. Didn’t you say you direct sow these? ..... This is true of cabbage as well. It’s possible what you need to do with directly sown broccoli, etc. is to “hill” them up.
I'll make a point of it & see what happens; in the past some have been direct seeded but I think mostly raised as seedlings & planted out.
you failed to make sure the camera registered the way you are holding it and it was sideways.
Haha, I come from the time when you held the camera so as to frame the picture the way you wanted it and printed the negative accordingly. Not only that, if you finally preferred it reoriented you could just turn the print in your hand :).
How does a car lose a wheel?
It happens and it's more dangerous to onlookers than occupants. A liberated wheel can do a lot of damage but I believe the car generally stays upright and steerable. People have been known to describe their surprise at being passed by their own wheel. I guess it must be a case of studs improperly tightened, coming loose, getting worn away by sloppiness and shearing off or pulling out? What I find surprising is that the driver can be unaware that "something's not right."
"The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior." H. D.Thoreau. (Me too.)

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jal_ut
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Re: Veggies with weak or lazy stems

"What I find surprising is that the driver can be unaware that "something's not right."

Yes, me also. A loose wheel will make some noise and vibration for sure. I have only been driving for 63 years, but have never had a wheel come off or even get loose. Something is wrong with this story!
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

Vanisle_BC
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Re: Veggies with weak or lazy stems

jal_ut wrote: Something is wrong with this story!
Nope. Happened right outside my front door. It's not a story.

Google 'vehicle losing a wheel' and you'll see it happens quite a lot. I'm surprised if you've never heard of it.

Anyway we're way off topic. Sorry for my part in it but the incident was 'interesting' at this end.
"The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior." H. D.Thoreau. (Me too.)

Vanisle_BC
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Re: Veggies with weak or lazy stems

Still off-topic but to wrap up: I just noticed, on my recent service centre invoice, this disclaimer:

" *** takes no responsibility for wheels becoming loose or falling off if not retorqued."

I can add that in more than 65 years of driving (legally :)) I've never had a wheel come off but I do know that it happens.
"The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior." H. D.Thoreau. (Me too.)

ACW
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Re: Veggies with weak or lazy stems

I saw a wheel come of a rather fast looking two door mercedes yesterday in south east london ,rather scary seeing the retaining bolts on the road and the wheel rolling at speed down the road,
I too get the leggy stems on many of my veggies ,I put it down to the shading from surrounding houses and trees in my inner city patch.
A gardener with a small shady back garden and a balcony with containers ,
biggest problem not enough sunshine !

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