Growing 2 broccoli heads from same plant

uscjustoJuly 2, 2013

Anyone gave experience growing broccoli after the last freeze, then harvesting in summer. Then cutting back the same plant and having it develop a main head to harvest in the late fall??

I watched a YouTube video and didn't know that was possible.
http://youtu.be/-hP1EIvii20

I'm interested in growing broccoli if this is a possibility.
Any input is welcome. Thanks.

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woohooman

I don't know what that lady is talking about or doing. And I grow plenty of broccoli.

While I've gotten 2 main heads off the same plant before, it isn't a common thing. And why she let's it flower is even more puzzling -- those flowers are most likely coming out of side shooting florets and stalks; sometimes nice sized side shoots.

Here's how i grow my Broccoli in very dry SoCal--

Start seeds indoors in a week or 2 from now so that transplants get out in Late August. Start a few more a couple weeks after the first so I don't have all my main heads coming in all at once. Basically, I want to have all my transplants in the ground by Mid Nov. I've tried in Dec and Jan and it's no problem -- i just notice once we start losing TOO much daylight, growth is slowed and heads are smaller.

Hopefully, by late Nov/Dec, we start getting some rain to really help with the water bill.

I sometimes start some more to go out late Jan/feb for Spring growing.

I then harvest the side shoots for MONTHS after I harvested the main heads -- still harvesting side shoots from last fall and winter's plantings.

I only let them go this long though if they're picking up water from my warm season crops waterings -- otherwise i pull them... not worth the water.

But one can have a nice supply of broccoli throughout a good part of the year here and not spend a ton on water -- especially with proper mulching.

Regarding freezes -- i don't know exactly where you're at uscjusto, but broccoli holds up to frost pretty well, and could probably endure hard freezes if you mulch and those freezes aren't for extended periods of time.

Also, Another MAIN head in the fall??? Maybe just a much larger than normal side shoot. I get 'em.

Kevin

This post was edited by woohooman on Tue, Jul 2, 13 at 14:52

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 2:45PM
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uscjusto

Kevin- sounds like you are way more knowledgable than the lady in video.
I'm in sacramento. The freeze danger isn't too harsh so I think I'll stick to your plan.

Can you describe how you start your broccoli by seed indoors?
I'm a newbie and have no idea what I'll need or what to do.

Thanks.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 3:31PM
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woohooman

I don't know if I'm more knowledgeable. Just a couple things didn't make sense to me.

Anyhow. Try to germinate seeds in normal seed soil or a well draining potting mix and maybe some added perlite -- not too important. You just don't want to put on a heat mat or dome or anything that's warm. Usually room temp is good enough. I usually just use left over pony packs as containers. Once the seeds have emerged, immediately under shoplights or CFL's with the tops of the plants no more than an inch or so from the lights for about 6 weeks at 12-16 hours per day and then a week or so hardening them off.

If it's blistering hot when you plant, shade cloth goes a long way for a couple weeks so the roots can get established some.

Hope this helps.

Kevin

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 6:01PM
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woohooman

Oh! one more note.. sometimes the seedlings can get kind of leggy. Not too worry -- you can actually plant them an inch or so below the soil line for more stability.

Kevin

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 7:12PM
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uscjusto

Thanks!
I don't have lights specific to growing so hopefully my desk lamp will work.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 9:46PM
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woohooman

Desk lamp is fine if you replace the bulb with a CFL. You don't want incandescent -- too hot. The more lumens the better, also shoot for a 6500k spectrum.

You don't NEED "grow" lights, although they do tend to work better than standard fluorescent tubes. But a simple 2 bulb 4 foot shoplight fixture(20-30 bucks) and some "daylight" fluorescent bulbs( 20 bucks) will do just fine.

Good luck.

Kevin

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 1:24AM
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gardenlen(s/e qld aust)

yep that's broccolli

we cut first heads with not much stem and then get up to 5 or so secondary harvests, our latest on their 4th now.

len

Here is a link that might be useful: lens bale garden

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 2:13PM
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naturegirl_2007 5B SW Michigan(5B SW Michigan)

Two crops? Yes.
Two large central heads? No

It's a first crop of the large central head, a second (third and fourth, too) of smaller side shoots.

Plants will continue to put out side shoots as long as the weather doesn't fry or freeze them too much and water, etc. is available. If you don't cut them regularly, they will flower like hers. Yes, you can "rescue" them at any time by cutting off the flowers and trimming them back. You may, or may not, feel the resulting small side shoots are worth it.

I often prefer to get the plants out of the garden after the early harvest and restart with new plants later in the year for another large head harvest followed by small side shoots into the early winter. I don't like to deal with the summertime broccoli pests and prefer the taste of cool weather broccoli anyway.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 3:28PM
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NilaJones(7b)

I've got one broccoli plant that's in it's 4th year, now. They are pretty cold hardy.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 1:42AM
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