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I am experimenting this autumn with more autumn/winter vegetables than I am used to. I have cabbages and leeks near maturity which will be the main events, but I've also put in some August sown purple sprouting broccoli. Not sure if it'll work, but I'm hoping for a crop early next year.

At this stage (September) the seedlings are still quite small.

At this time of year, high winds can be a problem. Do broccoli (and similar) plants, which are hardy enough to survive winter, need protection from winds? If so, what's the best approach?

I'm figuring it's too early to put them under glass or polythene, there can still be a lot of heat in the sun during the day.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

I currently have unprotected broccoli, and we just came through two major wind events: first was a thunderstorm (~50-60mph) and second was Tropical Storm Irene (~30-40 mph). One of my seedlings (about a foot tall at the time) was flattened by the thunderstorm and another by Irene. Both bounced back and seem to have made a full recovery, about 2-3 weeks later.

In the past, I've used row cover supported by 1" PVC "tent frames" to protect spring broccoli. I shove the PVC into the ground a couple of inches to secure it, drape the row cover over the top, and weight down the edges with rocks. It's dual purpose: keeps off the cabbage worms and protects it from wind. (It also provides a couple degrees of frost protection, but that doesn't seem like an issue in your case.)

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thanks, any chance of a photo? – Tea Drinker Sep 12 '11 at 13:19
@Tea: Sorry, I don't have any assembled right now. But see this page -- mine look somewhat like "Another pvc pipe frame design", top center photo (or maybe more like the top left photo) in the grid of 9 photos on the bottom of that page. Any of those designs should work well for you. The hoop designs will probably be cheaper and easier -- PVC pipe is less expensive than fittings, and you won't have to cut a bunch of lengths. – bstpierre Sep 12 '11 at 13:47

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