permagardener
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Broccoli: What to Do With the Plant Post-Harvest

I am a new gardener and I have just finished harvesting the crop of Early Season Purple Broccoli. In the same plot are Brussel Sprouts which I'm guessing are done with their production too. My question is: do the plants then get taken out of the ground and the soil prepared for new plantings? Do the plants get left in the ground for the whole summer? Please advise on what to do with early sprouting broccoli, brusselsprouts and cabbage stalks which are just hanging out and using up garden room. Thanks so much!!!!

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rainbowgardener
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finished broccoli

If the broccoli is really done, pull it up and compost it. However you do know, once you harvest the main head, it will keep putting out smaller side shoots which can also be harvested, for some time. So don't pull it 'til it's really done! :)

cynthia_h
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I also made several very yummy meals using the broccoli leaves themselves.

I snipped them off with scissors at the base of their stems, making sure not to ever take more than 1/3 of the leaves from any given plant.

Then I mixed them up with rapini, spinach, chard, kale, etc. The broccoli leaves were among the sweetest in the mix.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

2cents
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The stems are some of the heaviest in a compost pile and will break down slowly, unless you chop into small pieces.

Midnight Gardener
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Location: Sacramento - Zone 9

You can compost them or eat them. To eat them cut the stalks into 2 to 3 inch pieces, peel off the outer skin and then boil until fork tender. Squeeze a little lemon juice into some mayonaise, add to it a little salt, pepper and garlic powder and then dip your broccoli stalks into it. Yummy!
Midnight Gardener
I Grow Atlantic Giant Pumpkins

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