I recently planted Broccoli and Cauliflower plants side by side. The Broccoli is looking very good but the Cauliflower plants have died off. The roots seem to have been eaten by something. Can you help?
Firstly remove any infected plants and don’t put them in the compost. A variety of chewing and sucking insects will affect your young plants in their early days when the soil is still warm and air temperatures are reasonably high. As the temperatures drop heading into winter, many of these potential insects will disappear. Therefore you may wish to replant a new cauliflower plant in cooler months i.e. sometime in June.
It is also well worth rotating your crops in your veggie garden to reduce disease or pest problems, particularly soil-borne. This especially applies to brassicas as there can be long term problems when growing the same plant in the same area year after year. Always prepare your soil well before planting your new brassicas. This preparation includes checking drainage, incorporating plenty of organic matter e.g. compost and raising the level of the soil where minor flooding may occur through the winter months.
When purchasing young vegetable seedlings it’s important to carefully inspect the state of the plant. We often tend to choose larger seedlings as opposed to healthy young fresh plants and this can lead to problems later on.