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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Wind Damaged Broccoli

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Post  Roseinarosecity 12/27/2015, 12:16 am

Merry Christmas to you all!
We had some strong winds last night and my broccoli plants are flopped over.  Should I stake them?  I gave them water, but I'm wondering if I stake them will I be damaging their root system.  It's the first time this has happened because I removed a tree that would be a wind barrier.
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Roseinarosecity

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Post  CotheK 12/27/2015, 4:51 pm

I'm new to this so take it for what it is worth!   thinking

I read somewhere that it is okay to just lift them back up and pack the soil (add more if needed) around the plant to get it standing.  

Hope this helps until someone gives a better answer!
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Post  AtlantaMarie 12/28/2015, 7:00 am

Hi Roseinarosecity.  How tall are they?  If not too tall, just pack dirt around them like CotheK says.

There is a concern about damaging roots if you put a stake in there now.  But you'll have to weigh it against losing it...  I'd say stake them, but push the stake in gently...
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Post  Roseinarosecity 12/5/2017, 1:07 pm

It's early December and the Santa Ana winds are fierce today, and for the next two days!

My broccoli, kale, and cauliflower were just planted mid-November, so they are just babies.  The wind has bent them over.  This is when I wish I had a drip system because hand watering during 15 - 25 mph winds is crazy.  There has been no breaks with the winds that started early at 4 pm yesterday.  I did go out there to water with a gentle spray today, as close as possible to avoid loss of water.

Back in 2015 when I asked for help, my broccoli was about about 8 inches and I supported them with a rock to prop them up.  They did fine.  I never removed the rock during their growth.

This time around, we are going to get three days of wind, so who knows how well the little 3 inch broccoli plants will do.  Luckily, my hoop is still intact and not blown away.
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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt 12/5/2017, 7:14 pm

Do you have light-colored opaque buckets or something that you could put over the top of the broccoli without smooshing them, and put a rock on top so the buckets don't blow over? I say light colored opaque because I worry that clear containers or black ones might absorb too much heat - it's ok if they don't get light for a day or two if it helps them get through the wind. Actually, even something that is tube shaped, with no top, would help block the wind, and would help prevent the sort of overheating that could occur with something that has a top - but might be harder to brace against the wind. I think someone on here had windbreaks made of burlap around their beds, but I don't recall how one prevents that from becoming a sail...
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Post  Roseinarosecity 12/6/2017, 3:43 pm

I was spared one day of winds due to the protection of our San Gabriel Mountains.  I did get some damage, not on my Broccoli, but on my baby Kale.  They are bent at the base of the stem, some have not stood back up after watering.  I have no idea if they are broken or are being held by a little bit of the plant wall, I'm calling it a wall for lack of plant terminology.

I do have some yogurt containers, (they are white not opaque) which I will use tonight since we are expecting another day of winds.  I don't have lots of big rocks or bricks but I'll try to rig something with a weed block staple.  I am lucky because we have seven fires all over Southern California and the closest fire is 50 miles away.

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