I tried growing broccoli and cauliflower in our Vegepod for the first time over winter. The plants seemed to grow well, but I didn't get any vegetables to eat. I wondered whether it is because bees can't get through the mesh to help polinate the flowers? Will I have the same problem if I try to grow strawberries in summer?
Welcome to Workshop @LeanneD. I hope you find plenty of helpful advice on the site from our community members. I also look forward to reading more about your projects and plans.
I also have a Vegepod and had limited success over winter. We had plenty of broccoli and spinach but no cauliflower. I don't think there is any problem growing them - check out the Vegepod Instagram page and there are lots of posts from users with bumper harvests.
As @QuailFlock mentioned neither broccoli or cauliflower need pollination so that wasn't the issue
To look at both varieties…
Cauliflower – they are notoriously difficult to grow well. You need to make sure you are growing the right varieties for your zone (temperature ranges) and then cross your fingers that the weather is typical, not extreme. Too cold and a head won’t form. Too hot and it will bolt to flower/seed.
They have to be grown fast, this means lots of nutrients and reliable water with an emphasis on nitrogen in the fertiliser but… too many nutrients & they go leggy & won’t form a head.
They also like really reliable moisture but can’t stand wet feet so you need soil that retains moisture without staying wet.
Put it this way… I’ve been a home veggie grower on & off for much of my life & I don’t bother with them. One or two unusually hot days & they will fail. Too much water & they fail. Too dry & they fail. Not enough of the right nutrients & they will fail. Too cold & they will fail...
Broccoli – are, by-the-by, very closely related to cauliflower but not quite as difficult.
Best grown fast & kept well fertilised, they need reasonable to good quality free-draining soil and reliable moisture.
Like any cool season veggies with most varieties if you get a few hot days they will run quickly to seed rather than forming a good head.
Depending on where you live you may find it best to seek out a warm climate variety next year.
We lived in Sydney until recently & to be honest with the changing climate & regular warm to hot weather in the ‘cooler’ months I had pretty much stopped trying to grow most cool season crops. I was experiencing way too many failures that the home-grower could not avoid. When you’re trying to grow plants that will respond badly to temperatures over 20˚ or so there’s not much you can do when you get a week of 25+…