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#30079 June 16th, 2005 at 09:07 AM
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I've tried a couple years now to grow broccoli, but all I get is these stringy little branches, not a nice head like you see in the veggie stores.

And this year, the heads are going to flower, which I've never seen before.

Can anyone give me some broccoli growing tips, please?

#30080 June 16th, 2005 at 06:06 PM
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It's been years and I had a massive aphid problem. This is worth a look.

Since it is a cold crop, if you're like me and prefer to just plant seeds, I'd suggest a location that gets partial shade. If you have the luxury, a hot full sun garden and a cool partial shade garden is the way to go.

#30081 June 19th, 2005 at 06:01 AM
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Thanks, LMT. That broccoli article was what I needed. This summer we had massively hot weather for a couple weeks already, so I guess that's why the broccoli is flowering so early.

I'll do better next year.

The article didn't say how to save the seeds, though. Any hints or tips?

#30082 June 20th, 2005 at 01:05 AM
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I haven't brought broccoli back to the garden. I'm building up beneficials to deal with the aphids.

I don't know how to save broc seeds but I do know that you should only save seeds from plants that you want to duplicate.

Quote
Broccoli is most often treated as an annual but overwintering varieties can be allowed to flower and set seed the following spring and summer. For annual broccoli, an early spring sowing is recommended. Broccoli is normally cross-pollinated by bees, so it is best to grow only one variety or isolate two or more varieties considerably. Broccoli, as a member of the Brassica family will cross with cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, collards, kale and kohlrabi, so must not be flowering at the same time as any of these. (Which is unlikely to happen unless you are also saving seed of one or more of them.)

As for other brassicas, broccoli seed is borne in narrow pods. Harvest when pods are dry and brittle. plant stalks can be laid on tarps or canvas for further curing outside or branches of pods can be placed in open paper bags and dried in the sun. Threshing can be done by hand, flailing or by rubbing the seedpods gently through screen. We normally snip the seed stalks and immediately thresh them by foot in our box
Linky

Sounds like a lot of work. I'd find a seed company that grows near your zone. I use Burpee because central Pensy is a close zone to S/W Michigan. If my assumption that they grow their seed in central Pensy is correct, they should work for you as well.

#30083 June 21st, 2005 at 09:00 AM
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Thanks Linky:

I think I'll find some organic seeds - this saving them does sound like a lot of trouble. Especially since I can only plant two or three plants each year.

Now a kinda off topic question. Does anyone know if it's OK to eat the broccoli after it has flowered?


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