Thursday, April 25, 2013

Letting you Broccoli go to seed

 This was a good experiment letting my broccoli go to seed. What a great lesson in gardening. I am getting more into letting some of  my vegetables and flowers go to seed. My sister  Casey use to let her Delphinium and other flowers go to seed and would give me seeds all the time. I am still finding paper bags of seeds from her. I thought she was a bit nutty but now I see her point.

To the left you see a broccoli plant that I did harvest quite a lot from. Once I was done with it I let it go to seed. See the pretty yellow flowers?

Now it has grown out as mush flowers as I think it can.  It gets long and stalky. The seeds are strange looking they are long like a green bean with anorexia.

Here are the direction:

1. Allow the broccoli plant to bloom instead of harvesting when it is in the bud stage.  The broccoli plant will send up a flower stalk covered with yellow flowers that are very attractive to bees and other pollinating insects during the blooming process.

2. Place a paper bag over the broccoli flower when the seedpods are brown and beginning to split open. You can see the black broccoli seeds inside the split seedpods when the seeds are ready to harvest.

3.Grasp the paper bag with one hand so it creates a seal around the stem. Cut the stalk with a pair of hand-held garden shears so the flower head remains in the bag. This prevents seeds from falling to the ground when the flower stalk is moved.

4. Turn the flower head upside down so it stays in the bag.

5. Remove the flower head from the paper bag and spread the seeds on the dry newspaper. Crumble the seed pods to release the numerous broccoli seeds and separate the seeds from the dried plant material. Allow the seeds to dry for three weeks while spread over the dry newspaper in the warm and dry location.

Place seeds in a dry jar with a tight-fitting lid and store at room temperature until the following season. Broccoli seed will remain viable for one year if dried and stored properly.

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