Cauliflower seedlings dying

(12 Posts)
Warmworm Sun 24-Apr-16 09:34:16

Can anyone shed any light on what's happening to my cauliflower seedlings? It happens every year! They germinate fine, grow some proper leaves then start to go dry and crispy at the edge. They stop growing then and slowly die off.

I've been putting them out in the daytime to harden off, but it's been fairly warm.

Do you think they are too tiny to put in the ground? I thought that would help if it's a deficiency of some sort, but they're so small....

bookbook Sun 24-Apr-16 22:39:56

mmm - could you be overwatering them?

Warmworm Mon 25-Apr-16 07:59:23

I haven't watered much at all, because it's rained when they've been out in the daytime. I planted them out yesterday, fingers crossed!

shovetheholly Mon 25-Apr-16 08:33:48

Plants do take a bit of a hit when you start hardening them off. However, from the dryness of the leaves, I think maybe it's underwatering that's the issue, especially as it's been relatively dry lately. It's surprising how fast a small pot can dry out even in moderate heat. If you think that sounds plausible, start small and regular - give them a shower, but don't drench them as too much water can kill them when they're already weak. Definitely don't leave them sitting in loads of water for hours on end.

Are they still in seedling compost? Because they need to be potted on into something more nutrient rich, i.e. potting compost, as they will have exhausted all the energy in the seed itself and seed compost doesn't contain much!

I normally grow things on a bit from there before planting out, but there's someone at my allotment that doesn't and their plants seem to make it (though a few more die, the majority survive). They do rake the soil to quite a fine tilth to give them a good start.

bookbook Tue 26-Apr-16 08:24:15

Hello - just had a little re read on what you posted.
When I prick out, I tend to mollycoddle them a bit for a few days - and leave in a cold greenhouse ( or a cold frame would do). It just allows the roots to settle, and start working well, before they are put under stress, especially when it is still cold and windy

Warmworm Thu 28-Apr-16 17:42:29

Well I planted them out and they've died 😟. It has been horribly cold with hail so they had no chance. The cabbages seem to have survived though!

bookbook Thu 28-Apr-16 20:57:22

plenty of time for more smile - I have just pricked out my first sowing, and also just sown some more. You do know ( sorry, but you may well ) that different varieties are best for different times of year?

Warmworm Thu 28-Apr-16 21:52:21

I didn't know that, thanks, I'll look into it. I've got plenty of other things to plant in my little allotment, but we do love cauliflower cheese!

shovetheholly Fri 29-Apr-16 08:02:26

I LOVE a good cauli. I grow two lots - one is started about now (seedlings are in the greenhouse) and will mature in autumn. This year I'm doing romanesco, which I love for their crazy Fibonacci-style form.

The other will be started in summer to be planted out in autumn for May next year. The caulis I put in last autumn (purple cape ones and white Ayla) are just starting to curd up, which is SO EXCITING! (Once they get going, they go in a big whoosh, which is why succession sowing - as book is suggesting - is a great idea).

bookbook Fri 29-Apr-16 09:12:56

yes, I am just waiting impatiently for my Aalsmer to curd up - they are looking so healthy, but no sign , but they are April/May, so fingers crossed.
I am doing some little ones for summer, followed by some autumn ones

shovetheholly Fri 29-Apr-16 09:17:41

Aalsmer - that's what I've done. Not Ayla. Where did I get Ayla from??!

Mine have only just started - just the tiniest little cloud of white! What are your summer/autumn varieties book?

bookbook Fri 29-Apr-16 10:03:59

I have Clapton and Aviron - covers July- end of October, though looking at the descriptions, they overlap a bit more than I anticipated, so will have to make a bigger gap between sowing. I have sown the Clapton, and will wait about 4 weeks to sow Aviron, tp push them a bit further.

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