Heat tolerant broccoli varieties?

bart1(6/7 Northern VA)February 20, 2014

Are the so called heat tolerant broccolis really heat tolerant?

I'm thinking of trying Sun King and Green Magic this year and was wondering if anyone had grown them.

The Burpee description for Sun King says you can harvest it from spring through fall, and the Johnny's description for Green Magic says it has superior heat tolerance.

Has anyone grown them?
Can you really harvest all summer long? Or does that only apply if you live in northern Maine!??!


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I've grown Packman and Marathon Hybrid throughout the summer here in inland SoCal. Love having fresh broccoli for stir fry all summer long. The trick, I suppose, is to mulch heavily keep moist, and to clip the side shoots before they loosen and flower. Once they loosen, the stalks get woody. Also, a diligent use of BT throughout the season to control the cabbage loopers.

I normally don't grow it in the summer because my water can be used more wisely, but when I do, it's because they sit below my plot of peppers in a different plotand got the runoff from the peppers' water.

You want to avoid planting brassicas with nightshades. In my case, they weren't.


    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 10:35PM
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bart1(6/7 Northern VA)


Packman is a favorite of mine but I don't consider it heat tolerant in any kind of special way. The description of these other two made me think they would still be producing long after Packman gave up.

I just wondering if the description was just to get me to buy seeds (it worked!) or if they will actually produce into July and Aug here in the Mid Atlantic?

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 11:05AM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

I've left some broccoli plants in place through the summer and a few things deter me from the idea of trying it again. First was the taste becomes unbearably sulfurous once the real heat hits. If that is addressed with their increased heat tolerance, then good. But my second deterant was the insects- midsummer a lovely bug called the harliquin bug shows up and takes over any brassica it finds. It's like a prettier version of a squash bug and breeds prodigously like them too. Row covers would probably help. My question is would you really eat the broccoli when all that nice corn and tomatos and green beans and okra are all coming in? Just some thoughts to help you make your decision!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 11:15AM
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bart: I know what you mean. there's been spinaches and lettuces that have claimed slow bolting and I noticed they weren't discernible differences of varieties that didn't make that claim.

Like I said, I think with the ones that claim it, one would still have to make steps to keep the roots somewhat cool(mulch, moisture, shade cloth, etc) And stay diligent of checking on the side shoots every couple days and harvesting young.

Compared to Di Cicci, the two I mentioned are much more heat tolerant.

Sunnibel makes a good point. The pests in different parts of the country would definitely play a part. For instance, No SVB or harlequins here, but I bet you never heard of the tomato suck bug. They get to my indeterminates every year and assassin bugs are their enemy. No assassin bugs in my garden... ughhh!

Good luck.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 1:12PM
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Kevin consider yourself lucky. Since several years ago San Diego has been home to the painted harlequin bug also known as the bagrada bug, from Africa. It is different than the standard harlequin bug but breeds prolifically as Sunnibel describes and brassicas are their favorite. The damage that they leave is particularly ugly.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 3:42PM
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It's of not much help now, but there are more heat tolerant varieties being developed on both the East and West coast.

I'm much more familiar with the East coast efforts to develop new varieties and trial existing ones which can be grown during the spring/summer in the cooler areas of the East coast.

It's still a project that's a little ways away from having a slam dunk, but out of existing varieties...Bay Meadows, Gypsy, and Belstar performed well. Bay Meadows was favored the most.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 4:25PM
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I have grown all three of those. Bay Meadows did well, Gypsy is an ugly plant but produced ok, Belstar is the worst variety that I have tried.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dill's Brassicas

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 4:43PM
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Nice heads Dill! No damage to leaves either! No loopers there?


    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 5:02PM
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plenty of them, even more cabbage worms. Bt takes care of them.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 5:47PM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

Most years I have broccoli through summer. Cooler summers I get a bumper crop. 2012 was poor so in 2013 I used the black/white mulch and had a decent summer. I also transplanted some more right after harvesting garlic and had a good fall harvest.
I did trials last year but had an accident and most of the tags were spilled. So it has made me do another trial this year. poop.
Bay Meadows
Blue Wind
green goliath
green magic

Belstar and Tendergreen are just going to be planted in summer for fall.

I grow mostly heirlooms in other veggies but hybrids for broccoli. Happy Rich was a disaster here last year.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 8:19PM
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I've tried to pamper it through, but since broc freezes pretty well I quit working at it. Our favorite broc dish is broc beef stir fry, which works really well with frozen broccoli. So, I'm content with eating it cooked in the summer months. My strategy is to plant quite a few (last year nearly 100), get them in really early and freeze what we can't eat fresh. Then as long as the really hot days hold off, I keep cutting the side shoots for fresh eating.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 2:52PM
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100 broccoli plants?? How huge is your family?? ANd your freezer?

I get by with 6(8 max) and that gives me enough for 1-2 times per week in a stirfry with an occasional big pot of Broccoli, ham and cheese soup and some in a salad now and then. Then again, I can grow it year round here.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 3:30PM
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Just for info, Green Goliath is a good open pollinated broccoli. Too erratic in maturity for commercial use but heads forming at differant rates can be an advantage to a home gardener.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 5:14PM
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Dill: What do you mean? The main heads mature in a wide range of # of days?


This post was edited by woohooman on Sun, Feb 23, 14 at 23:48

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 10:56PM
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Yes. For production purposes one wants an entire field to head up so you get a maximum one time harvest. With Green Goliath, you may have ten days or so before the first head and last head.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 8:25AM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

Farmerdill, you have explained something that I didn't even know I had a question about, you are that good! :) My GG in previous years did seem to be all over the place in reaching maturity (the ones that did) and then this year I was growing something else and they all came right at once, making a broccoli glut for me. I vaguely attributed it to the weather, but now I know better, it was the variety. Cool, thanks.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 11:23AM
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