Broccoli – the plant that keeps giving

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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And today I found a second plant growing even further along the stem.

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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.

Happy gardening.

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. cathyandchucky
    Sep 17, 2014 @ 20:29:29

    Lovely to hear from you Jean! You’ve been missing in action for so long and I’ve really missed your allotment updates 🙂 I love broccoli and broccolini. Just steamed with some butter 🙂 Great blog.

    Reply

  2. Allotment adventures with Jean
    Sep 17, 2014 @ 20:52:01

    The best way to serve fresh veggies straight from the garden, steam and throw some butter over them. Yum
    Lovely to hear from you. Thanks for your comment.

    Reply

  3. narf77
    Sep 18, 2014 @ 06:39:42

    I just steam mine sans butter and that way I get to eat a whole head! 😉

    Reply

  4. Allotment adventures with Jean
    Sep 18, 2014 @ 10:11:56

    And so good for you Fran.

    Reply

  5. MrsYub
    Sep 19, 2014 @ 07:50:53

    I was told by my mum that broccoli re grows it’s head, but I was unprepared for the random chaos in which it does it! It’s like they turn into this multi tentacled mister reaching out to grab you!!
    I also unexpectedly had one of my cauliflowers cross pollinate with my broccoli and start producing extra purplish heads…and I had not planted any purple cauliflower or it’s seeds!

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Sep 19, 2014 @ 16:44:05

      I know what you mean about broccoli spreading itself about. Mine have grown and produced so well I expect there won’t be much left in the soil by the time they have done their dash. I’ll have to go over the fence to the horse paddock and feed my soil up again for the next season.
      I know what you mean about cauliflowers, they will cross pollinate willy nilly. I read somewhere that if you want to keep the strain just as you planted (for seed saving) then you just plant one sort only. But how boring would that be!

      Reply

  6. Di
    Sep 26, 2014 @ 12:06:22

    Jean, Great to see you on your gardening adventure streak again! You have been greatly missed. Your broccoli seemed to be very determined to keep reproducing from such a thick old stump. Did the flavour alter from the original heads to the ones you picked later? Keep more information coming please.

    Reply

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