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Broccoli growing too fast?

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Broccoli growing too fast? Empty Broccoli growing too fast?

Post  Warbler on 5/18/2012, 12:40 am

I planted this from a purchased transplant - and it has really shot up. It doesn't look right to me. I planted four and this is the worst - there is another similar, and then two seem a little more normal - though being a newbie I really have no idea!! Laughing

Is it fixable? Can I cut it back? To where?
Broccoli growing too fast? Spindl10
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Post  gwennifer on 5/18/2012, 2:09 am

Aww shucks Eldena, your broccoli has bolted. Sad If you're unfamiliar with that term, bolting is when a plant (usually herbs or vegetables) decides it's time to reproduce because it's life cycle is almost over. This will typically be triggered by the weather. The plant will then shift all of it's energy into producing flowers and seeds instead of foliage. It happens rapidly.

You can see your broccoli sent up a flower stalk. All those little green buds, if left on the plant, open up into little yellow flowers and then go to seed. You can cut off all the little bits and eat them if you want. I've read that a broccoli isn't "save-able" once it's bolted but I don't have personal experience with trying. Has it been as hot in Auburn as it has been here (upper eighties?). Broccoli is a cool weather crop that prefers soil temperatures of 65-75 degrees.
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Post  FamilyGardening on 5/18/2012, 3:02 am

rats!!....sorry to see your broc is bolting.....Sad

we are afraid are broc's are going to bolt too!!....its the weather.....its hot for us this time of year and its really throwing us for a loop!!

our bok choy that we direct planted into the SFG by seed went straight to bolting with flowering.....the ones that were transplants and put out into the garden earlier gave us a bunch to eat and they are now bolting too!.....its to hot for our cold weather loving plants.....What a Face

hugs

rose
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Post  walshevak on 5/18/2012, 8:01 am

Yep, my bok choy is starting to bolt now. I'm going out today and cutting it all. I'll save one or two in the refridgerator for the next few days and freeze the rest. Bummer. Should have started harvesting earlier because I knew the hot weather would play havoc. My purple mustard is sending up flower stalks too. And of course the florets on broccoli is just the early form of the flowers and you have to get them quick before they loosen up and start to open.

Kay

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Post  landarch on 5/18/2012, 8:46 am

I am seeing several garden centers still selling veggies that are way too late to plant.
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Post  CindiLou on 5/18/2012, 8:52 am

They don't care if they find someone who doesn't know about when to plant..They just want their money. All they can write off is the actual cost of the plant to them so if someone wants to buy it for more, that is great to them.
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Broccoli growing too fast? Empty Thanks all

Post  Warbler on 5/18/2012, 10:35 am

Well fiddlesticks! I had a hunch that was the case. Yes it has been unusually warm here -we're half way between Portland and Seattle. I hope the other two I mentioned that look a little more normal can recover. We are back to cooler weather now...

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Post  BackRiver_SFG on 5/18/2012, 10:36 am

Reading through the thread, I too am realizing that several of my spinach, and arugula plants are bolting. I barely ate from them. cherry

There are still others that are growing well and producing nice leaves. I will keep harvesting from those as long as I can and will re-use those soon to be available squares real soon!

Good luck out there and enjoy the season!
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Post  Squat_Johnson on 5/18/2012, 11:44 am

I too am having no luck with the Broccoli. It was like this last year, but not to this extent. My biggest head was one bite.

I found transplants in August last year. They did very well. I have had better luck in the fall, and hope to again.
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Post  Goosegirl on 5/18/2012, 1:39 pm

I am not even trying broccoli until fall. Our springs are too short, and since we have already hit the 90's I am putting in more beans and taters for now and setting out broccoli in July/Aug.

GG
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Post  walshevak on 5/18/2012, 1:56 pm

I just checked my chart and noted that I planted my broccoli starts on Mar 14. Estimated frost date for here is Mar 30 to first week in April but this year was strange. They were put into one of the new beds that I'm sure was high in nitrogen because I got enormous plants and got worried that no heads were forming. The weather was getting brutal temps in the 80s for weeks. Around the end of April I added a 1/2 dose of a bloom Booster and within 2 weeks the heads were forming. But the heat still took its toll. Had to harvest all 6 within a week just last week. I have a few side shoot coming on and we got some needed rain and cooler weather for a few days so I have hopes for a dinner or two.

Next year I'm going to put them out in early March, even if the weather is cooler and I have to put some protection over them at first.

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Post  Hoggar on 5/18/2012, 3:06 pm

Cut the stock back to just above the leaves. then nip off all
of the buds by the leaves except one. Last year My broccoli
lasted through the summer and we got several good heads
off of it.

This is my broccoli from August of last summer.

Broccoli growing too fast? SFG-08-13-11-4
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Post  quiltbea on 5/18/2012, 3:57 pm

Sudden heat in the spring can play havoc with cool-weather crops. That's why in my area, 5a, many farmers don't plant the brassicas until summer when they can start seeds directly in warm soil, then they grow up in the coolness of fall coming and there's also less insect worries.

Me, I like to try anyway. Even when we had the 90 plus days of last year, I managed to get a few of my cool crops to harvest size and it was worth it even if I lost most of them to bolting.

This year I was amazed that a couple of my Pak Choi (Bok Choy) seedlings almost immediately went to seed while still indoors under the lights while others were fine. Strange.
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Post  littlesapphire on 5/18/2012, 4:07 pm

That is strange, Bea! I've never heard of that before... I've also never heard of starting brassica directly in the ground. I should figure out when I would need to do that in my area, just to see if it's worth giving up those squares a little longer.

Hoggar, very cool summer broccoli! I've never heard of broccoli lasting all summer. I should give that a shot with mine this year.
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Post  quiltbea on 5/18/2012, 4:24 pm

Last year we started seed directly in the ground in our community garden Sharecroppers rows for the Food Pantry for many fall crops like broccoli and cabbage, around the week of 6/10 and cauliflower around 6/20, turnip 7/16 and Kale, leaf lettuce and spinach around 7/30 and finally radishes around the end of Aug.

Broccoli growing too fast? 09-09-13

Above: Broccoli and squash rows on Sept 9th last year. So you see, in our 5a area we can grow them in the fall. When your radishes, early letuce and spring spinach are done, add a couple trowels of compost and plant seeds of broccoli and cabbage, then cauliflower a week later. How about your garlic? You could use those squares for cool crops, too.
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Post  plantoid on 5/18/2012, 9:15 pm

The thing with broccoli is that variouis seedsmen & nurseries call broccoli by different names ..it gets confusing . Some of the plants that were thought to be broccoli are infact sprouting broccoli ...green sprouting or purple sprouting and it will never make a nice compact greenhead in a month of Sundays .
Calabrese then comes ito the equation.Laughing


I 've kept our plants producing since September last year , they have been given a couple of doses of a combined mix of "fish , blood & bone meal " , carefully applied down at the roots , scratched and watered in . ( Taking great care not to get any in the crook of the stalks and leaves as it will rot and injure the plants ).

Even if we are not going to eat any of our sprouting broccoli when they are pristine ready they get scissored off and put into the compost heap or stood in a jug of ice cold water and set in the refridgerator .. They'll keep well for three days if you change the water each day and rinse the stems off under a tap at each water change ..

We also eat a few of the bigger leaves as a sort of cabbage /green as these don't often end up on the compost heap for there is usually plenty of time to plan when to use them.
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Post  littlesapphire on 5/18/2012, 9:49 pm

Plantoid, I'm so confused now. I've never heard of sprouting broccoli, nor calabrese. I just thought broccoli was broccoli cyclops

Well, actually I'm lying, because the variety of broccoli I'm growing is an heirloom called "green sprouting calabrese", but I just assumed that was a fancy name they gave it, lol.

Bea, I like your suggestions! I was actually wondering what I was going to put in my radish, lettuce, and garlic squares come June. I'll certainly consider direct sowing some fall brassica.
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Broccoli growing too fast? Empty bolting broccoli

Post  Maureen on 6/19/2012, 12:10 pm

Thank you for this information about bolting broccoli. As I am new to growing broccoli, once the plant has bolted is it best to take out the plant?
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Post  landarch on 6/19/2012, 12:13 pm

I grew broccoli last spring and found it better suited for the fall garden in our area...there is a good chance it gets too hot before the heads fully form and they take up a lot of room.
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Post  llama momma on 6/19/2012, 1:26 pm

Maureen, yes when it has bolted the plant is done. Pull that baby and plant something else.
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Post  llama momma on 6/19/2012, 1:32 pm

Maureen, your first post and I missed it before,
glad you\'re here
to the forum!
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Post  Turan on 6/19/2012, 10:10 pm

@Maureen wrote:Thank you for this information about bolting broccoli. As I am new to growing broccoli, once the plant has bolted is it best to take out the plant?

With broccoli you want them to bolt, bolting means going to flower which first requires flower buds which is what a broccoli head is. Sooooo~

You live on a high plateau.... what zone? how cool are the summers? If your summers are on the cooler end of the spectrum just trim back the flowering stem and give it a side dressing of compost. It will then go on to making side shoots with smaller heads. Eat the stems of those sprouts all the way down to where it gets tough! (think of them as similar to asparagus shoots).

I live in zone 4 in Montana. Broccolli produces all summer for me into the fall. I just picked my first head, it was small, I think from a Calabrese, and there are many sprouts already starting. Every summer the plants get ahead of me at some point and flowers open and I trim them back and more sprouts come. The sprouts will get smaller over time, like asparagus sprouts do. At some point I do a really drastic pruning and feeding and then ignore it. Then it will take some time and regroup and make some bigger heads for fall.

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Post  llama momma on 6/20/2012, 5:57 am

It probably depends on where you live in regards to keeping broccoli going. In my zone 6a, if it bolts the plant is done unless you want to fool with getting a couple of side shoots which for me wasn't worth the effort.
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Broccoli growing too fast? Empty Thank you.

Post  Maureen on 6/21/2012, 8:32 pm

We are in north central Washington, Okanogan Valley, zone 2. Summers can be very hot, 100 degrees + in August.
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Post  Maureen on 6/23/2012, 11:57 am

Thank you for the advice about broccoli bolting. Another question is: when broccoli flowers is it edible?
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