Can I save the seeds from my bolted broccoli?

gramat(7B)June 12, 2009

We had some very hot weather here in the Pacific Northwest and my broccoli bolted. Could I let the seeds develop and save them for planting in the fall or should I just compost them and use the space for something else? Right now the yellow flowers are in bloom.

Grama T

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jessicavanderhoff(7 Md)

Save 'em! :-) I have trouble germinating brassica seed, so I think having some seed you know is fresh would be a good thing.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 3:37PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Sure you can save them. Whether they will breed true or not all depends on the variety. Is it a hybrid?


    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 4:03PM
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Even assuming they are open pollinated (ie not hybrid), you might also consider whether the plants that bolted are the best ones to save seeds from...although the bolting may have more to do with increasing day length than the genetics of the specific plant.

I'd probably save them and plant them, just to see what happens. After all, they're free! And there's something satisfying about sowing seed you've produced in your own garden. I've got lines of large-leaf basil and purple tiger chilli that I've been saving for a few years now, and they're becoming pretty much bullet proof under the local conditions.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 8:41PM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

Can you use the surplus - I assume when collecting such commonplace see that there will be a surplus - for wild bird seed?

I don't know. Just asking as I have noticed wild bird seed one purchase in quantity has a lot of mustard seed. If wild birds eat mustard will they not eat brassica?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 11:41AM
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zeuspaul(9b SoCal)

Sprout the surplus and eat them in salads, soups, omelettes. I pay about $20 per pound for broccoli seed.


    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 12:50PM
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I have only had 1 plant bolt and gone to seed. How long do I wait before pulling it and getting the seed from it?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 9:19PM
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One of my broccoli plants bolted and I left it to collect the seed. Today I harvested the seed from the dried, brown seedpods. (Amprice, I think the pods have to be dried to have formed seeds that are dry and not stuck to the pods.) The broccoli were Coronado crown hybrids. Will they come true??

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 8:54PM
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No, they will not come true, but you will get good broccoli and unless you are really attentive will probably not notice the difference.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 9:01PM
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Thank you, farmerdilla!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 5:13PM
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I'm leaving my bolted plants to go to seed for sprouting (like zeuspaul said). I also have a daikon radish that should be finishing seeds soon. My broccoli are just forming the seed pods now.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tales of a Transplanted Gardener

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 1:56AM
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jekyll(New Zealand)

It's still quite a while from flowers to seed - I can't remember how long but it always take longer than I expect.

I had some sort of weird purple sprouting broccoli last year that may have been mislabelled as some plants seemed more cauli-like. Whatever it was, a plant or two went to seed. After my garden demolition (I had to fix a retaining wall and it required a digger) I ended up with "feral" broccoli seedlings sprouting in the mud. Out of curiosity, I transplanted some of them. They were great!

There was some variation in the plants; all but one were purple, but the shade and the head size varied. Despite all coming up and being transplanted at the same time, the maturity of the heads was nicely staggered so I had a long season instead of everything at once. There are some advantages to growing non-uniform seed. I ended up eating broccoli nearly every day for about 2 months. I'm still getting occasional sprouts off them, 4 months after I started eating them.

The second plant of these to be ready was the biggest and purplest one, so I left a few sprouts on that one to go to seed.

I love trying things out just to see what happens - it is so much fun. It is worth the times that things don't work (eg the feral tomatoes that usually come up too late to ripen) just to get those random successes like the feral broccoli.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 6:52AM
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