PrincessE
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My broccoli has bolted but is still growing side shoots

My broccoli was growing very well and I had to go out of town for a family emergency and was gone for 3 weeks. My non gardening husband and daughter were left to water and care for my plants. After I returned home everything was super dry. The automatic drip sprinkler was turned to low so my plants were dying of thirst, poor babies. Any who, my broccoli plant was beginning to flower. That has been 3 months ago and the broccoli plant is still growing side shoots and I have been letting them bloom hoping they would produce seeds. If I remember correctly, once the large head bolted it produced seeds and I was waiting for them to dry before collecting. The seeds blew away and the side shoots are now flowering but not making seeds. The side shoots are still growing but I thought once a plant bolted that the fruit was no longer edible. I just tried a little side shoot and it was very flavorful. I don't mean to ramble and I'm sorry if I lost you. To simply, I'll list my questions, I have several?

1. Is the fruit edible once the plant has bolted?
2. Will the side shoots produce seeds?
3. Can I trim all of the side shoots and flowers or will that kill the plant?
4. If I do trim the long flowering stems, will the side shoots continue to grow on that particular stem?

Many thanks!!!
Debbie

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broccoli usually does best in cool weather but as long as the side shoots are still coming use one plan and leave the flowers grow but cut the other flowers off and the plant will keep producing side shootes that you can eat! what is the night temp there! Some varities of broccoli only produce side shootes but most will continue to produce shoots as long as the flowers are cut or the shoots are eaten as they produce. You can even eat the flowers and the stems!!
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PrincessE
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Thank you Bobberman. Our evening lows average upper 60's. I'm happy that the plant is not a loss. I was scared that after if bolted it was a useless. I'm glad to know that the plant is not a waste and I can still have fresh broccoli even if it is small bites at a time. I have been wanting broccoli but the grocery stores have had pitiful looking broccoli and I've had to pass on it. Good to know that I can still get some off of my little plant. Thank you again.
Debbie

Bobberman
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I guess you never have frost there. Do you have a garden or a raised bed! Is you soil sandy! do you fish there and what types of fish!
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PrincessE
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Bobberman wrote:I guess you never have frost there. Do you have a garden or a raised bed! Is you soil sandy! do you fish there and what types of fish!
Your are correct, no risk of frost here. I have a container garden so my soil is gardening soil. My lawn is a mix between sand and clay. I do enjoy fishing but haven't gone in years. With all the beautiful fish we have here I'd much rather watch them than catch them.
Debbie

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If you want to grow something that looks good and taste good I would try bright lights swiss chart ! It has three colols of stems red yellow and orange. easy to grow and last for a long time as you take a few leaves off at a time! You can cook it like spinach or eat it raw in a salad.
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applestar
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Even when you can't eat them as tightly closed green flower buds, broccoli is pretty useful. I eat side shoots and tender new leaves, and even opened flowers are good salad garnish. I let a plant go to seed and harvested the dry seedpods but didn't cut it down and had left some small seed stalks on the plant, which fell over in a storm. Then it got hot and I was seriously sick for over a month, and weak and recovering for the rest of the summer.

Well, when the cool weather rolled around, that stump started to produce shoots and kept on growing until the freeze killed it.

The point though is that the size of the side shoots dwindle so you have to make a decision about whether you want to plant something more productive in that spot.

In you warm area, you probably want to grow the varieties that are categorized as "summer" broccoli which are less cold hardy but is more heat tolerant. I believe Bountiful Gardens catalog is where I read about the different grouping in broccoli varieties.

PrincessE
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Thank you both. I'm happy to know that the plant was not a total waste. I think I may try swiss chard. I see it often but have never eaten it so I wasn't sure how to prepare it. I have a container that I just removed a tomato plant from so swiss chard would be great to try in there. Thanks again!
Debbie

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Definitely, swiss chard is my favorite thing to grow... so easy and productive. As Bobber said, use it like spinach, including I substitute it in spinach lasagna recipe and I think the swiss chard lasagna is better than the original.
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Re:

Bobberman wrote:You can even eat the flowers and the stems!!
I came across this thread, happily. Yesterday my broccoli was all green, today it bolted. I never grew it before so it's a lot of trial and error here. You said I can eat the bolted broccoli and flowers. How do you suggest I prepare it? Thanks in advance :)

jsturm
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Re: My broccoli has bolted but is still growing side shoots

Very informative thread. I have 7 broccoli plants of two different varieties growing this year, one has bolted while the other has produced nice 4" heads with good color. That goes to show what different varieties will do.

I'm going to keep harvesting side shoots as long as I get them. While I think about it, going to head out now to put some cool water over the ground before it gets hot, as it will be all weekend.

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GardeningCook
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Re: Re:

FaerieWhings wrote:
Bobberman wrote:You can even eat the flowers and the stems!!
I came across this thread, happily. Yesterday my broccoli was all green, today it bolted. I never grew it before so it's a lot of trial and error here. You said I can eat the bolted broccoli and flowers. How do you suggest I prepare it? Thanks in advance :)
You can eat them any way you'd normally eat broccoli. Just eat it soon, as bolted broccoli doesn't have the same fridge life as younger broccoli. As far as the stems, they're delicious, but you first need to peel the tough outer skin off until you hit the tender inner white part.
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