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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Broccoli Question

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gwennifer
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Post  shannon.d.mahaffey 4/4/2012, 9:38 am

[img]https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/Broccoli Question Img_2015[/img][img]https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/Broccoli Question Img_2014[/img]

Hello everyone, we have another question and cant seem to find the answer in "The Book", our broccoli seems to be taking over the areas around it, can we trim these larger leaves away so our poor pepper plants will quit getting beat up? Thank you for all your help.
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Post  Squat_Johnson 4/4/2012, 12:15 pm

Your plants look great!

You _can_ trim them back, but the broc likely won't produce as much. If I had space or a bucket, I would consider transplanting a pepper. Broccoli, cabbages and that family need a good deal of space. I have done this before, and just let them fight it out... Keep in mind that the broc will be ready to harvest soon, and the pepper will be around for late fall if all goes to plan.

I talked about this sorta in this post.
https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t7497-alternating-plants-and-shading-lettuce
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Post  plantoid 4/4/2012, 3:37 pm

We have trimmed the leaves off the broccoli and eaten them lightly boiled ..

The plants do not appear harmed , we harvest just a couple of leaves off each of the seven plants each week .
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Post  AvaDGardner 4/4/2012, 4:24 pm

Squat, did you put the brocs side by side in adjoining squares? Or did you skip a square between (referring to your photos in the link)?

I interplanted my coles with little things, like chives, garlics and shallots. So far, it's working out well. My coles are all between 9-12 inches tall, filling maybe 3/4 of their square.
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Post  Squat_Johnson 4/4/2012, 5:28 pm

think of a checkerboard pattern - coles and lettuce.

Here is lettuce ready to pick, and the neighbors will use the space.
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Post  WolfHeart 4/4/2012, 5:34 pm

OOPS! I planted 9 squares of Broc and they are all next to each other, Of course i have never had broccoli as large as all of yours. Never considered alternating these crops because mine have never gotten so large.
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Post  camprn 4/4/2012, 5:42 pm

I plant my broccoli in adjacent squares. No problem, but I have had to prune the lower leaves on occasion. What a Face Shannon, the garden looks great.

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Post  gwennifer 4/4/2012, 6:13 pm

I experimented with one of my six broccoli's last fall, pruning it pretty heavily to keep it in its square and only pruning the others if a bottom leaf starting hitting the ground or turning yellow or something. The one I pruned heavily produced the same size head as all the others.
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Post  Squat_Johnson 4/5/2012, 11:54 am

I will be trying the pruning tricks. BTW, broccoli leaves make wonderful greens. We have simmered them with a bit of broth and they are yummy. I eat the stems too!
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Post  boffer 4/5/2012, 12:22 pm

Other ways to use up those broccoli leaves

https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t7811-stuffed-broccoli-leaves
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Post  Too Tall Tomatoes 4/5/2012, 12:31 pm

plantoid wrote:We have trimmed the leaves off the broccoli and eaten them lightly boiled .

I think they might be pretty tasty if they're cooked with ham hocks. Similar to collard greens and ham hocks.
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Post  Turan 4/5/2012, 1:12 pm

Hmmm, never thought of pruning the broccoli, excellent idea!
I plan 18"X18" squares for cabbage and broccoli. But I grow varieties that are known for side shoots and thus get production all summer and into the fall. Through bad experience I have learned to have their neighbors be quick things or tall thin things. Actually potatoes down the center of a bed with cole crops along the edges works well. Just keep tossing mulch on the center. A freind has good luck with short marigolds, pretty and they seemed to help keep cabbage moths away.
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Post  gwennifer 4/5/2012, 1:35 pm

Turan wrote:...I grow varieties that are known for side shoots and thus get production all summer and into the fall.

I'm trying that this year! I'm trying 'Apollo' which is supposed to grow nice long tender side shoots, and has the recommendation to harvest the initial head early so that the side shoots start growing. I noticed the more I pruned the regular broccoli's, the more side shoots I got (also after their main heads were harvested), though they were dinky little things. What type do you grow?
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Post  Turan 4/5/2012, 1:44 pm

gwennifer wrote:
What type do you grow?
DeCiccio, Calabrese, Green Goliath. They seem to stagger themselves as well.
Apollo hmm? Have not heard of that one, I will be interested in your reports on it.
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Post  shannon.d.mahaffey 4/8/2012, 10:02 am

I'm not sure if our broccoli is growing correctly, it looks awesome from a distance but I cant say that i see any heads forming etc.... the plants were planted on March 11.. are the plants just not matured enough yet?
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Post  Lavender Debs 4/8/2012, 11:56 am

Boffer ---YUM

Turan wrote:...snip...Through bad experience I have learned to have their neighbors be quick things or tall thin things. Actually potatoes down the center of a bed with cole crops along the edges works well. .... A freind has good luck with short marigolds, pretty and they seemed to help keep cabbage moths away.


Anything that repulses cabbage moths is welcome in my garden.

I put cabbage and broccoli in the outer squares of my 4x8 and onions in the center 8 squares. that worked well for me. Mine were not staggered, in fact, due to lazy thinning, some squares had two healthy broccoli plants and seemed to do just fine.

Broccoli Question May_1411

Between the poly cover going up on box 6 and the milk jugs protecting tender seedlings, this is a junky looking pic. Early in the season (May 14, 2011, PNW) it did not seem at all crowded (it never does early in the season).

Broccoli Question Brocco10

By early June things were a bit more cozy but in the grand scheme of things, not too crowded.

Broccoli Question Cabbag10

My biggest problem was slugs who LOVED the shade of the cabbage leaves in this same box. It was not until the weather got hot (by PNW standards) that the slugs began to damage actual food and leave their nasty droppings deep in the cabbage. This was not a problem for the broccoli or the onions.

Broccoli Question Peter_10

This box always made me think of the children’s story, Peter Rabbit.

BTW Shannon, I'm not sure about Ohio but in the PNW it is too early for broccoli (except in Yelm where there is magic and early vegetables to tease the rest of us)
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