Cauliflower wilt?

Out of 3 30' rows of cole crops 2 cauliflower plant have suddenly wilted very badly. I can't see any insect damage & it has rained over an inch in the last week. Any ideas? Thanks, Steve
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A couple of possibilities. Black rot http://vegetablemdonline.ppath.cornell.edu/factsheets/Crucifers_BR.htm Club root http://vegetablemdonline.ppath.cornell.edu/factsheets/Crucifers_Clubroot.htm
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Thank farmerdill, your post got me worried about fungal disease. So I pulled the wilted plants. There was no sign of black rot or club root. The under ground portion of the stems appeared to be peeled or eaten away to the woody core. Cut worms, maybe? Steve

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STEPHEN PEEK wrote:

If I saw sudden wilt like that in my garden, I wouldn't have any doubt what it was. In my garden, it would be root maggots. You obviously live in a totally warmer climate than here since we wouldn't even dare to plant out cauliflower plants yet. Maybe you don't have root maggots where you are. If you pull another affected plant, look closely at the roots. Look for tunnels. Look for the maggots too but they may be gone by now (hiding in the soil ready to hatch out into the next generation).
Steve
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A lack of calcium? I've read that cauliflower requires a heavy amount of lime (which I interpret to be calcium). I've had a hard time getting cauliflower to grow myself. I keep thinking the heads are supposed to get bigger and by the time I unroped the leaves, the first head wilted. The same plant has two stems and I ended up with one small head of cauliflower from the second stem. Only seem to get one cauliflower a year, much like a pine- apple plant gives one pineapple a year.
Just curious, do you lime your soil in any way to give the plant calcium?
Jim Carlock Florida West Coast
--
Raleigh Swimming Pool Builder http://www.aquaticcreationsnc.com /




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I agree with Steve, Cabbage root maggots would be my prime suspect based on your description. Difficult to control. There are several beneficial organisms on the market that are rated as effective biological controls Gnat Not, No Flea, and Steinernema carpocapsae. Difficult to find in small quantities. Chloropyrifos(Lorsban, Nufos) and Diazinon are effective, but not sold to the general public. You need an applicators permit to buy them and again, not sold in small quantities.
Jim. Cauliflower does best at a soil pH of 6 -7 . Limestone or hydrated lime is used to raise the pH of an acid soil. A soil test ( see your ag extension agent) every few years is highly recommended. Most brassicas are finicky in acid soils as are beets and lima beans.
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