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Broccoli Time?! Empty Broccoli Time?!

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 1/10/2011, 10:52 am

I am amazed at finding that broccoli can be started indoors 12 weeks before frost. From what I've seen around, the average of the "average first frosts" for STL, MO, is around Tax Day. So, that is the day I am going to attempt to use this year. That said, 12 weeks before Tax Day is January 21st-ish. Holy cripes!

I didn't think I would have to think about anything but which seeds to buy until late February at the earliest.

Has anyone had any success with broccoli in the STL area? And, did you start in late January?
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Broccoli Time?! Empty Starting broccoli in january

Post  laurainwinona on 2/19/2011, 12:44 pm

Hi, Backyardbirdgardener,

I'm in Minnesota, not St. Louis, but I have had success starting broccoli in seed trays. I use an "average frost date" of May 1 for my area, so I start my broccoli about Feb 1. It does seem ridiculous to start seeds when the garden is still covered with 2 ft of snow, but I've had good luck with it. For my area, the trick is whether the snow will be gone from the garden when it's the supposed time to plant outdoors! Smile I have used frost covers, as well -- the one featured in Mel's book: two ciss-crossed PVC pipes covered with plastic sheeting. Anyway, good luck!

laurainwinona
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Post  Furbalsmom on 2/20/2011, 12:10 am

I started my first ever broccoli seeds on Wed, Feb 16 and of the twelve little peat pellets, ALL except one germinated yesterday, Fri Feb 18th. Two days Broccoli Time?! 832433 My lettuce did not germinate that fast.

I am taking that as a good sign for my broccoli crop this year.
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Post  walshevak on 2/20/2011, 12:20 am

I'm late on my broccoli seed, but they sprouted today. I could be putting them out in the garden now, IF my beds were ready. Finally gave up on my son coming to help and have put together 4 of 6 planned tabletops. Waiting for the wind to die down so I can stir up my mel's mix.

Hope I can still get some to grow before the summer heat which comes early here in coastal NC

Kay
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Post  Megan on 2/20/2011, 5:43 am

Despite our recent warm snap, I still find it hard to think of summer while still in February. I am quite jealous of those of you with longer seasons! Smile My last frost date is in May, though I'm going to take a few chances and see what I can get away with.
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Post  miinva on 2/20/2011, 10:27 am

This will be first try at broccoli, and I'm trying purple sprouting broccoli, which I understand behaves a little differently than heading broccoli. I need to get cracking on seed starting! I found a garden guide online that said I could start some things indoors the week of February 9th, but I haven't done so, other than a couple of winter savory and epazote seeds (which sprouted! *happy dance*).

Megan, I know what you mean, but having moved from Michigan to Washington state to Virginia, I know that those long growing seasons come with long, hot summers that I don't much like, so there's always a trade off. Until I started gardening I didn't even like summer! It's strange to start pining for spring at 40 Smile
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Post  Megan on 2/20/2011, 10:34 am

I've had moves similar to your own, Miinva, and I'm with you on summer. I love winter...this past year's was the first summer in many recent years that I greeted with great enthusiasm. So, come on, Spring!!! Very Happy

Good luck with your indoor sprouting. Wish I had a good place to do that myself.

Kind of funny we're talking about broccoli, as broccoli soup is on the menu for tonight. I'd love to be cooking some of my own, one day!
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 2/20/2011, 11:45 am

I have two broccoli plants started and have to check my calendar to remember when they are due to go outside. But, they look great so far. My lettuce is leggy as all get out, but my broccoli and cauliflower plants are growing super strong.

It just seemed so weird to count backwards, along my plan, on the calendar and find myself running well back into January for starting indoors. i just didn't think that possible anywhere but Miami, FL, or Brownsville, TX.
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