I have four broccoli plants and they have been feeding me for weeks.
The magic of growing your veggies in an allotment is that you are never short of advice, wanted or otherwise. So you pick up these tips.
I was given four tiny broccoli seedlings months ago. (Another benefit of having an allotment.) It is of course reciprocated. I thought to myself “Great, I can now depend on four broccoli heads”. Wrong.
In due time, and with diligent care, the tiny little seedlings grew to their full potential, which gave me a glut(?) of four broccoli heads!
Fortunately, after I harvested them, a much wiser gardener – and there’s plenty of them over at the ‘lottie’ – stopped me yanking said plants out and told me to ‘leave them be’ and they would re-sprout.
So I did.
And this is the result, below. Now I know it’s not a very clear picture, but you should get the idea. You can see where I had sliced off the main broccoli head from the top of the plant and the new broccoli head is growing from the stem that I left in the ground. More dinner for me.
But wait, there’s more! This head of broccoli is from one of the plants that completely re-grew from the bottom of the original stem and I get a whole new head.
Now if that isn’t enough I’ll tell you what happened next. One plant had provided me with the original head of broccoli, then it had re-sprouted and I’d harvested that and I thought ‘surely it’s done it’s dash’ and I tried to dig the (by then, I would have thought, exhausted) plant out of the ground.
That stem was so tough I couldn’t shift it. I got it half out of the ground and gave up. Left it for another day. I’d managed to shift half, but the other half of the root was still in the ground. I gave up and went home.
Days later I returned and this is what I found. That darn stem was growing again!
You can see below. That tough old stem, lying on the ground with just a few roots still in the soil, is sprouting.
A week later and the new plant is ‘growing like Topsy’ out of this stump lying on the ground. And you can see the scars on the stem where I have been harvesting already.
And today I found a second plant growing even further along the stem.
The lesson I have learned from this is that if you find a plant that loves where it is growing then the seeds HAVE to be saved so that they can be passed on to other gardeners in the same area.