Broccoli Early Purple Sprouting

Separating Broccoli: Early Purple Sprouting

Earlier on in the year I planted some Early Purple Sprouting seeds in some polystyrene cells and they’ve really done well.

Like the Brussels sprouts I’ve got to the point whereby I need to separate them into their own pots.

I’m conscious of separating seedlings early on so that they do not become ‘leggy’. They become leggy because they get too much heat and not enough light – this is often the case in seed trays as each of them compete for both – they result are spindly looking seedlings.

If the plants are on a heat bench or in a propagator and they are looking spindly, turn the heat down and try to give them as much light as possible.

As a rule of thumb, seedlings can be thinned out when their leaves begin to touch their neighbor and when they have sprouted their second set of leaves. This is known as the true leaf stage.

To separate the seedlings, gently tease them out using an old spoon or a dibber and then carefully separate the seedlings by holding them by the leaves. Avoid holding the stem or the roots as they can damage easily.

In a pot, With the dibber, create a large hole deep and wide enough to hold the root system and then lower a seedling in and firm the soil around the base of the seedling. As a rule, I tend to water the pot before I place the seedlings in so that I know that that the seedlings are going into moist conditions.

It’s important to keep seedlings properly watered before you plant them out in the garden, however, that said, Generally speaking, you’re better off under watering your plants ever so slightly. This may sound strange but you’re encouraging the roots to search for water and that develop a better root system.

Before I plant out, I need to harden the plants off, this means getting them used to the outdoor temperatures. I keep my seedlings in a cold frame so I will place these outside for a week to 10 days before I plant out.

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