Nutrient Disorders

      Vernon G. James Research & Extension Center, NCSU    
General Management Tips
Nutrient-based Disorders
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Brown Bead (Broccoli)  top


Broccoli suffers from brown bead, which can be caused by poor growth, disease, or excessive temperature. It is typified by flowers that are small, turning brown, and not growing.
Suggested Managment: The damage may be lessend by ensuring that crops receive enough nutrients.

Cracking of the Head (Cabbage)  top


Cracking of the head can occur when soil moisture is increased suddenly. Cracking is particularly a problem when cabbage nears maturity. With a sudden increase in soil moisture, young leaves inside the head expand rapidly, thus cracking the head.
Suggested Management: Uniform moisture supply through irrigation will reduce head cracking. Good soil drainage will remove excess rainfall.

Hollow Stem (Broccoli)  top


Hollow stem is one of the greatest concerns of broccoli growers because pathogens can enter the plant through damaged openings. Hollow stem is caused by rapid growth and boron deficiency.
Suggested Management: Avoid varieties that are susceptible to hollow stem. Maintain uniform plant growth and provide boron as soil and tissue samples indicate.

Tipburn  top


Tipburn is a calcium deficiency-related disorder associtated with rapid plant growth, high relative humidity and excessive ammonium nitrate and potassium fertilization. Symptoms appear as brown to black necrotic areas of young developing leaves within and outside the cabbage head. Leaf tipburn also commonly occurs on broccoli, Brussels sprout, cauliflower, and collards.
Suggested Management: Maintain proper nitrogen and potassium fertilization and soil pH. Use a broadcast method for applying fertilizer rather than injecting fertilizer into row. Some tolerant cultivars are available.

This website was created by Marc A. Cubeta, Ph.D. , Plant Pathologist, Kenneth A. Sorensen, Ph.D., Entomologist, Doug C. Sanders, Ph.D., Horticulturist and Jason C. Smith, on July 13, 2000.