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runfox
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Is my brocolli done when it flowers???

I still have some of my broccoli in my garden from last fall, it has given me some nice heads for the plate. But some of it we missed and it went to flower. So now most of it is in flower so is it done for or can I get more heads from it?
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applestar
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The flowers attract beneficial insects so you might want to keep them if you have the space. If these were not hybrid varieties, let the flowers go to seed -- flowers will drop off and skinny things will remain/grow from the flower stalks. they fatten up into tubes and when theynare dry, you'll find the round black/brown seeds inside -- and you can plant them again or let them fall on the ground to self seed.

The seed pods shatter when completely dry so you should collect them when they turn from green to brown. Put them in a brown paper bag and let them dry out indoors.

You might also still be able to eat the leaves like collards (not sure about that -- especially since they've already flowered). They might still be usable for soup stock. If the flowerstalks are cut off, they might grow some small heads but nothing like the primary head of broccoli.

cynthia_h
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Those particular plants won't be setting any more heads, no. However, you should harvest some leaves and see whether you like them stir-fried, steamed, or however you've been eating the broccoli heads; I found the leaves absolutely yummy!

The flowers will eventually set seed. If you planted an open-pollinated, non-hybridized variety of broccoli, collecting the seeds will be the end result of allowing the flowers to develop. Also, the flowers of vegetable plants (relative to other flowers) seem to attract LOTS of pollinators to the garden. :) It drives my DH nuts that I let veggies flower after they've matured, so the bees can come visit. No problem, I say; the new plants are among the mature plants and will be fine.

And they are.

Cynthia H.
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soil
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its done, but now you can get seeds for next year, while enjoying the blooms and encouraging pollinators.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

DoubleDogFarm
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and eat some of the flowers with stem in a stir fry. Yum! :)

Eric

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I read somewhere that once broccoli and other Brassicas begin to flower heavily they release a toxin that can make us rather ill.

Is there any truth to that ?

DoubleDogFarm
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I hope not, that would put one of my favorite seed company out of business. https://www.kitazawaseed.com/


Eric

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I have had broccoli go to seed in august and sept and I cut all the flowers off and had more broccoli in october and november as it got colder! I guess it depends on the variety but I have done that many years with different varities. Usually i did not get big heads ater but small clusters till even after several frost. Usually the tem had to go below 25 before it was done!
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applestar
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My experience was the same except I didn't even cut off the flowers in the summer. :lol: ...only the one time in my case though. Variety was de Cicco.

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soil
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i eat broccoli and brassica flowers, no ill effects only good ones.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

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