Broccoli is commonly grown in gardens. However, most people treat broccoli as cabbage. It is where a lot of problems arise.
One of these problems is broccoli seedlings falling over. Here is all you need to know about why the seedlings are falling over, its solution, and prevention.
Why are Your Broccoli Seedlings Falling Over?
Broccoli falling over because of weak stems is very common. It might be because of some fungal disease, inappropriate temperature, or imbalanced nutrient concentration in the soil.
Here are the top three reasons why broccoli seedlings might be falling over.
1. Damping-off Disease
Broccoli can fall over because of a fungal disease commonly known as damping-off. Damping-off is a soil-borne disease, and the prime cause is increased moisture level of the soil. It can happen to indoor plants as well as outdoor plants.
When the plants are given too much water or the temperature of the location where broccoli is planted is very low, the soil remains damp for extended periods.
Several fungus or fungus-like organisms propagate in this moist environment. Resultantly, they can cause the broccoli seedlings to fall over.
You can identify damping-off by the following symptoms:
- Stems seem decayed near the base of the plant.
- You might observe growing mold on the upper surface of the soil.
- The average growth of seedlings is hindered.
- The leaves of the plant might seem wilted.
- The color of the leaves sometimes changes to grayish-brown.
- The stems become weak and unable to stand tall.
Can You Treat Damping-off?
No, it cannot be revived once a plant has been infected by damping-off. So, it is advised to take proper steps to prevent such conditions.
How to Prevent Broccoli from Damping-off?
Maintaining proper air circulation is enough to prevent damping-off. However, if you think you cannot manage to maintain adequate air circulation, you can also use a fungicide to avoid the situation.
You can use Mycostop (buy it here), a bio fungicide that helps prevent numerous soil-borne diseases. The application is hassle-free, so that you wonâ€™t have any problems.
Other ways of preventing damping-off include moderate watering. It is advised to water earlier in the day and only the volume that can be dried till evening.
Too much water will dampen the soil causing harm to the seedlings.
2. Temperature and Light Problems
Broccoli seedlings might be falling over because of the lack of optimal temperature or proper light. If you are growing broccoli indoors, you have to fulfill their light needs. Otherwise, the seedlings will grow weak and probably fall over.
If your broccoli has fallen over because of any of these two conditions, it is really hard to revive the plant. However, you can take some preventive measures to avoid this situation.
Firstly, ensure the temperature at which you are planting broccoli is suitable for the growth of its seedlings. The temperature should be too cold, neither during the day nor at night.
Also, damp soil further lowers the temperature of the soil. So, one way to maintain the soil’s temperature is to keep the water content in check.
Besides, if you are growing broccoli indoors and suspect the seedlings are falling over because of the lack of proper light, you can overcome it with the help of fluorescent lights. Or you can also try to move them outdoors. But this option will require a lot of care.
Can You Transplant Broccoli Seedlings Outdoors for Proper Light?
Yes, you can transplant the broccoli seedlings outdoors. However, if you donâ€™t do it properly, the seedlings can undergo transplant shock. So, you need to be very careful.
The primary reason transplant results in adverse effects is that the roots cannot absorb enough water from the soil to support the needs of the plant. In most cases, it isnâ€™t because of the lack of water content in the soil.
When you transplant seedlings, they require some time to grow their roots into the soil and develop contact with soil particles that allows them to take up water.
An ideal way of transplanting seedlings is to plant them deeper in the soil so that the soil surface supports some part of the stem.
Besides, ensure the seedlings can bear the outdoor conditions before transplanting the plant outdoors. If you are growing broccoli seedlings indoors in little light, suddenly exposing them to sunlight might cause them more harm than good.
So, ensure your seedlings are strong and rough to bear in the outdoor environment.
3. Increased Nitrogen Concentration in Soil
The broccoli seeds might be falling over because of higher nitrogen concentrations. You should not add nitrogen to the soil at least three to four weeks after planting the seedlings.
As nitrogen content contributes to healthy vegetation, the growth of leaves increases. Resultantly, the weak seedlings stoop and fall over.
Broccoli needs an appropriate amount of nitrogen concentration in the soil to grow healthy broccoli heads. So, you cannot entirely cut off nitrogen. Plus, excess nitrogen faced with extreme weather conditions can result in Broccoliâ€™s head rot.
You need to be very careful. All you have to do is look after the amount of nitrogen being provided to the plant. Choose the fertilizers thoughtfully and select the right time to apply the fertilizer.
Instead of using nitrogen fertilizer, you can use a fertilizer that offers optimal levels of all the nutrients necessary for the growth of seedlings. This way, you can maintain the nutrient content without worrying about excess nitrogen.
Dr Earth Organic 5 Vegetable & Herb Fertilizer (buy it here) is one of the best fertilizers for maintaining the soil’s nutrient content. It is free of GMOs and made with 100% organic ingredients.
Now you must have got an idea about why your broccoli seedlings are falling over. As explained earlier, all these prime reasons are irreversible.
Once broccoli seedlings start falling over, it becomes difficult to revive them. So, it is advised to take precautionary measures beforehand.