Waltham 29 - worth growing?

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JRinPA
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Waltham 29 - worth growing?

#1

Post: # 62617Unread post JRinPA
Mon Feb 07, 2022 6:21 pm

Is waltham 29 broccoli worth growing from seed? It is a 1950 heirloom and seed is cheap. Or are the hybrids much better?

I'm looking for a spring planting with side shoots afterwards. Also looking for a fall one cut and done. I'm okay with buying two different hybrids for this, but are they really better?
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Re: Waltham 29 - worth growing?

#2

Post: # 62641Unread post Seven Bends
Mon Feb 07, 2022 8:51 pm

I've grown Waltham broccoli for the last two years, spring and fall, with mixed results. It did fine for me in 2020, both spring and fall; I was pleased with it. Plants are huge, if that matters to you. Spring 2021 the weather turned too hot too soon and the broccoli heads turned yellow and bolted when they were only about 2" across. Can't blame that on the variety, though, because I had three types and they all did it. In fall 2021 I got the plants in the ground about two weeks too late. Waltham grew beautifully but never produced any broccoli. In contrast, Luna and Green Magic both managed to produce nice heads and a few side shoots in late November.

I expect to plant one Waltham plant this spring, along with Luna and Green Magic again, for another trial.
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Re: Waltham 29 - worth growing?

#3

Post: # 62654Unread post MissS
Mon Feb 07, 2022 11:19 pm

I had about the same results as Seven Bends. It was great one year but not so the next most likely due to the weather. Packman is still my preferred broccoli.
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Re: Waltham 29 - worth growing?

#4

Post: # 62696Unread post GoDawgs
Tue Feb 08, 2022 12:56 pm

I've not had much luck growing Waltham either. In fact, I've not had much luck getting satisfactory production out of any of the OP's I've tried. That includes Green Goliath, Umpqua and Thompson. Hot weather arrives too soon for spring plantings of these (especially Umpqua) and they were just so so in the fall. I want a lot of side shoots for salads and these didn't fit the bill. I'm still looking for an OP for seed saving purposes so I'm going to try De Cicco OP this spring.

Packman has been my spring and fall go-to for years now even though I keep testing others against it. Could be it's just my particular garden conditions but I'm sticking with it. Along with Packman I'm also trying Green Magic F1 this spring just because you never know. :) Will do it again in the fall.

It seems that as time goes by fewer seed vendors are carrying Packman. Back in 2017 I gave Blue Wind F1 a head to head go with Packman (ten plants each) and they were soooo close! Nice big heads on both with a ton of side shoots on each. I actually weighed the side shoots of each and Packman barely edges it out for the win. If Packman ever goes away I could sub Blue Wind. Unfortunately it looks like the only vendor who has Blue Wind now is Gurneys.
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Re: Waltham 29 - worth growing?

#5

Post: # 62719Unread post JRinPA
Tue Feb 08, 2022 4:39 pm

I was going to say they have blue wind f1 at holmes, where I am building my order, but indeed they do not, it is marked discontinued. They are recommending green magic as the replacement. They don't carry Packman or Luna, either. I am seeing De Cicco there listed as Fall harvest with side shoots. I'm thinking in the Fall I'd want a nice head without worrying after sideshoots due to October/Nov freezes. So I was looking at that Monflor F1 for Fall. But I'm far from expert.

I appreciate the input.

At this point I'm thinking go with Green Magic F1, sounds good for both spring and fall.

I've mostly been buying plants local and haven't been real impressed, and I can recall more than few varieties. Marathon, Diplomat, Imperial, Gypsy, maybe some others. The only time I got really good sideshoots was my own starts, spring planting, that I interspersed Okra into later on, and they never really headed, but were a jungle of really nice side shoots in July and August and never had any bug problems. The okra threw a few pods but mostly it was bug deterrent for the broccoli, I think.
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Re: Waltham 29 - worth growing?

#6

Post: # 64763Unread post JRinPA
Sat Mar 05, 2022 11:16 am

I just found my seed from last year. It turns out the seed was Waltham...blue and yellow pack from walmart, bought and started last summer for a fall harvest. It was not real impressive - many did not head. I'm glad I did not buy that again this spring.
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Re: Waltham 29 - worth growing?

#7

Post: # 64811Unread post GoDawgs
Sun Mar 06, 2022 8:02 am

Since I posted on Feb 8, I started a 4-pack of Green Magic too so it will be an interesting trial. Side shoots are important to me as down here it doesn't get cold enough in the fall to kill the plants and I can cut side shoots for a long time.
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Re: Waltham 29 - worth growing?

#8

Post: # 72245Unread post JRinPA
Thu Jun 23, 2022 1:28 am

Green Magic F1 was pretty strong in rather dry conditions. Everything headed, and most decent size. Zero worms with BT. Zero slugs since I put down the slug stuff. They were in the 30x4 foot raised bed that has 3 drip tape lines spread across 4 rows, so they had half of 1 drip tape that gets 10 minutes of water at 6am for the last 3-4 weeks. This is the last two from that bed plus two from an in ground bed. First broccoli for dinner was a while back, 2-1/2 weeks I'd estimate, but no side shoot noticed yet.

I cut them in the drizzle, some shiny water on top. Only head left to cut out of 20 soil blocks.
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in same bed 30x4
buttercrunch lettuce transplants were beautiful, now bolting
Upland Cress was terribly bitter, never will i sow that again
spinach was great until bolt, now replaced with sweet potato slips
Bravo F1 cabbage started to head last week.
Amazing F1 cauliflower, still no heads...they got zapped a little bit by the cold in plastic tunnel, even with a light in there for heat. They seem more sensitive than broc or cabbage.

I got a 1k pack of the green magic and started them double or triple seeded around Mar 7th. I just started the fall tray a few days ago. I did it the same way with soil blocks with the 3/4" hole punched down with a dowel like Fusion_power explained. Plant in the hole then squeeze it together for better roots. Seemed to work well.

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Re: Waltham 29 - worth growing?

#9

Post: # 72381Unread post JRinPA
Fri Jun 24, 2022 11:56 pm

I am seeing side shoots on the green magic F1; at least three plants, I suppose they're the first few I cut.
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I've seen my first few tiny worms cabbage worms as well, so that 1.5" of steady rain must have washed off the BT pretty well, or I missed some spots.
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Re: Waltham 29 - worth growing?

#10

Post: # 72475Unread post GoDawgs
Sun Jun 26, 2022 7:02 am

Wow, broccoli in June. You've got nice broccoli going and here it's a distant memory. I think the Green Magic might have gotten into the ground too late. The heads were small and rather vertical looking, very odd and the weather was getting warm. I'll try it one more time in the fall.

Waltham never did well for me. Big plants, small heads so it too is on the "don't grow" list.
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