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Location: Alabama US

Broccoli - 25 in 4oz yogurt. Help

My son planted broccoli in school (3rd grade). He has brought home a little bitty 4 oz yogurt cup with about 25 sprouts about 2-3" high. From what I have read this all wrong!! What can I to do to save these?

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You might get some of them to survive. Personally, I would separate clusters of them into separate 4" pots with good potting soil. Keep the soil moist and give them light. Thin them out as they die off with small scissors.

Another option is to use the scissors and thin out all but the strongest 2 or 3 sprouts. Transplant the whole thing into a bigger pot and let the strongest of them prevail for one good plant.

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Transplant them. They probably won't all live, but you can say you tried your best to save them. :)

I would use some small object, something like the pointed end of a plastic plant stake or even the tip of a flathead screwdriver, to gently pry each seedling out of the soil. Push the end of whatever implement you use into the soil beside the seedling, and gently lift the plant using a prying motion.

Repot it in a small container, such as a little paper cup. Use a pencil to poke 3 or 4 holes in the bottom of the cup, then fill it with new soil. (Use a potting mix, not garden soil.) Moisten the soil thoroughly, and set the cup aside to drain. Poke a hole in the center of the soil with a pencil, gently place the roots of your seedling into the hole, and use the pencil to firm the soil around it. (I do this by actually poking the pencil into the soil near the seedling, and gently pushing it toward the plant.) Then, water again to remove any air pockets that might still be in the soil.

The alternative is to pick the strongest seedling and pull or cut off the others. I have a feeling your son wouldn't appreciate you doing that, though. If he's anything like my son was, he's very proud of having grown so many seedlings. ;)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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Location: Alabama US

Thank you for the very quick answers! I am going to start transplanting in the morning. Wish me luck!

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Look in the seed starting forum for detailed advice on strong lights to put the separated seedlings, watering regimen, etc.

Note, though, that broccoli is a cool spring season crop, and will not grow well once the summer heat arrives. Now that your son is interested, you might consider growing seasonally appropriate easy crops like beans or cucumbers, etc. What does he like to eat?

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You may be disappointed with growing broccoli this late in the season. In Alabama, it really should be transplanted in February or early March for the spring season.

I also recommend starting something like squash and pumpkins. These grow very fast and now is the time for them to be planted.

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