When will broccoli produce flower?

idratherbegardeningMay 24, 2009

I planted three broccoli tranplants in my SFG about 5 weeks ago and they are now huge - expanding out of their designated SF and shading other plants. I had no idea they got so big. I am concerned that if they continue to grow much bigger, some of the other plants will suffer. When can I expect them to produce a flower?

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sinfonian(U8b A2 S5 SeaWA)

Same here. They do encroach. Frankly it depends where you are how fast they produce. In my area it takes forever, though in other areas it happens in reasonable time. Sorry can't be more help.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 8:30PM
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gardener_mary(6 MA)

Are you allowing them to go to flower to collect seeds? If not you should be harvesting before flowers form or your broccoli will be tough and bitter. I have not grown broccoli, but have grown some broccoli rabe, if allowed to flower it is not edible.

Good gardening, Mary

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 5:47PM
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If by flower, you mean forming what we call a head of broccoli, it took my transplants about 5 1/2 weeks from transplanting (about 9 1/2 from sowing) to start forming a head. The plants do get rather big, don't they?

Here is a link that might be useful: Luke's SF Victory Garden

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 6:18PM
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Thanks for the feedback. Yes, by flower I meant producing the edible head. Mine have been in the ground about 5 1/2 weeks from transplant now too, so I am hoping they will hurry up and produce something edible!

I hate to admit it, but I am tempted to pull them without ever getting to eat some fresh broccoli. :( Do you think it would hurt the broccoli plant, or slow down its production of an edible flower head, if I cut back off a few of its leaves? Each plant is covering about 4 sf right now!!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 1:20PM
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I cut mine back, although not before they had heads. They were shading out my onions and I couldn't have that. They did fine. It seemed to take forever to get them to flower, but one day I looked and there they were! I was SO pleased...and now they're gone. :-( All eaten up! I can't wait for July when I can start some for the fall!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 2:58PM
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I cut mine back as well by removing some of the larger outer leaves. Things went much better than last fall when I didn't cut back leaves.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2009 at 12:16PM
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OK, that's good to know. I am going to try trimming back some of the problem leaves on at least one of the plants and see what happens. It is either that or pull it out altogether, and I'd hate to have to pull it out...

Next year (or maybe this fall) I am going to plan better and put the broccoli on an outside edge and then put something beside it that actually likes shade, such as lettuce. Live and learn, I guess.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2009 at 4:41PM
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My Raab is just starting to get little heads, and yes the leaves were really large and shading other things. I cut the larger leaves and ate them! Absolutely fabulous roughly chopped, sprinkled with a little lemon juice and olive oil, salt and pepper, wrapped in foil and thrown on the BBQ for 5 minutes.


    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 1:55AM
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choxie(7 (NC))


Piggybacking on this one with a new question.

My broccoli is growing nicely, no heads yet and one looks a little leggy.

But my problem is that I have these very hard to see green caterpillar/worm things eating my leaves.

They are hard to see, but they leave little green poopballs, that's how I found them. (I rememebred the poopballs from the hornworms on my tomatoes last year). They are usually on the bottom of the leaf (not always) and they blend in with the leaf color. This makes them VERY hard to spot.

What can I use to get rid of them? My dh wants spray his Sevin dust on them, but I want to use something not so toxic on my veggies.

I have been using the water hose to spray them off each leaf and just pulling them off by hand. Yuck.

Any helpe would be appreciated.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 12:13PM
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You have cabbage worms and they will be everywhere if you don't do something. I didn't have this problem, but I read on here about BT, which is a powder you can put that will kill them. Do a search for BT on the veggie board and I think you'll find it.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 10:37AM
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An update - today I cut all of the little broccoli heads off and pulled the plants out of the garden. I just couldn't stand to see the other plants in the garden sit in shade and get no rainfall becuase of those overgrown broccoli. If I could have let them stay in longer, I might have gotten a few more bites...oh well, it was delicious even if there wasn't much there!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 9:49PM
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Sorry to hijack..

First year grower. Planted 2 raised beds with lots of stuff. It is all doing great! My broccoli plants had round 4 inch across what looked like broccoli. It was about 3 weeks after planting small plants. The ones I bought say maturity in 45 days and I'm at about 30 to 35 now. So the biggest plant had all those little buds turned into yellow flowers. and the plant got taller and stringier looking. Basically lots of thin shoots all over. Will those flowers turn into broccoli like tomatoes? I'm thinking it looks like not but never having grown broccoli before I have no idea. Any help? Thanks.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 9:17PM
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Once the buds turn into flowers, it's over in terms of harvesting broccoli. You want to harvest before that happens.

I started my broccoli seeds on 3/19 and transplanted on 4/19. I will harvest my first head this week. Mine were advertised as 52 days to maturity, but I'll be closer to 75-80 days.

Here is a link that might be useful: Luke's SF Victory Garden

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 10:30PM
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You should eat it when it looks like broccoli.
Sorry, I can't offer much more than that, I've only grown broccoi once before (several years ago) and IIRC, we planted a little too late so didn't have much success. I'm trying again this year.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tales of a Transplanted Gardener

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 12:12AM
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I looked like broccoli when I bought the small plants. It just got bigger so I guess I should decide what size I would like to eat it....

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 10:52AM
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choxie(7 (NC))

Thanks for the cabbage worm info and sorry about the thread hijack.

I have yet to see a head on any of my brocolli.

It is large and green and very healthy.

I planted seeds on 4/8 (April). They germinated by 4/11. I plnatedone each of DeCicco and Barbados(seeds from Wal-mart) and hopefully they will give me something before it gets too hot.

Our highs are in the high 80's/low 90's. But most days it is overcast and we get thunderstorms/rain in the evening.

Any thoughts as to when I may even see a head much lest harvest it?

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 4:12PM
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choxie, those temperatures sound a bit warm for broccoli. They prefer it a little cooler. I think starting your seeds earlier next time would help. I'm in zone 6 and started my seeds on 3/19. Harvested my first head this morning.

Here is a link that might be useful: Luke's SF Victory Garden

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 7:55PM
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choxie(7 (NC))

So Luke,

Are you saying that I will not get any brocolli this year because it has already gotten too hot?

Darn!!! All that worm picking and no brocolli.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2009 at 9:56AM
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Choxie, I'm new at this, so don't take what I say as gospel. But broccoli is generally referred to as a spring/fall crop, so I suspect temps in the 80s and 90s may not suit it too well. Mel's book gives it the generic "does not grow well in summer" stamp.

Maybe you can try shading it a bit to see if that helps.

Here is a link that might be useful: Luke's SF Victory Garden

    Bookmark   June 13, 2009 at 4:51PM
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Hi, Guys, This is my first time growing broccoli....

I planted some broccoli seedlings around late April.
Recently I was away for 3 weeks and came back found my broccolis bolting already...:((
The flowers from the side shoots are dry too..

Should I just collect the seeds and remove the plants?
or just cut the flowers and wait for new growth?

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 3:48AM
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i transplanted them in early may and now the plant is really pretty with large, showy leaves but has absolutely no sign of brocs!! what did i do wrong?
someone told me not to plant them next to tomatoes, but i have a tomato next to my broc. is this a problem? does anyone know?

also, i was wondering abotu mary: who has planted broccoli rabe. i want to plant this, but never found the seeds. where di you get yours? and do you have any to share?


    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 1:56AM
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I found that there are two types of broccoli. Both kinds I planted are called sprouting broccoli - Calabrese and DeCicco. They didn't get a head that was bigger that 1.5". But they have continued to sprout side shoots with tender stems. I recently found some seed that is supposed to make a head and I will try that. The plants are huge though for what they produced.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 1:05PM
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Yes, the heat puts a stop to the broccoli harvest.
Just yesterday I pulled up 8 lush broccoli plants (2nd planting) because it's just too hot here now. 105 today. We had cool weather this year for a longer spell and thought I might get one last crop before the heat hit. But those huge, lush plants just had tiny little heads that turned yellow before I saw them. So out they went. Time to plant more bush beans anyway.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 5:42PM
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Some not so great info on this thread. Here in SW Flatistan I grow brocs up to and sometimes over 17" heads and I usually don't get to picking until I see a few yellow flowers.

Yes, the flowers are edible (in fact, tasty) and after I cut the monster heads I harvest new shoots into Summer with all the heat mentioned above and more. Eventually the plants decline with the humidity and rains but ... lots of food comes first. Huge producer.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 9:08PM
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I just ran into this thread. We've been patiently waiting for our dozen lush broccoli plants to produce heads but I'm now wondering what we did wrong. Planted seeds the first week of April. Plants are huge with lots of leaves. We check plants several times a day - I've picked off several tiny worms from the centers of the main stalks (where I expected heads to grow any day now). This is an old raised bed; we bought the house last fall from an organic gardener who composted. Had lots of sun, lots of rain, temps in upper 80's.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 7:30PM
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Hello all, I usually start my seeds in March and xplant in early April for the first batch. To the best of my knowledge all cole crops, (brassica family) can take at least a light frost, so I only cover when threat of a freeze. So far I haven't had any problems....knock on wood!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 11:15PM
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So if I planted my brocolli too late but it lived through the summer, will it produce a head this fall when it cools down?

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 10:16AM
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tried it this year first time. seeded in september(va beach) and with the mild winter, i still have it in the garden. we did get a few evenings in the 20s, and 30s. averages above freezing mostly(low to mid 40s), but not by much.
pond froze up, lettuce wilted,(found out later that it will come back once it warms up, oh well) but the broc just hung in there. it did grow slow and hasnt produced a ton of florettes(is that the word?) but we cut some and threw it in some alfredo sauce.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 3:40PM
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I have four broccoli plants that wintered over. They were very small last fall, and didn't mature. Will they produce heads this spring?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 8:21AM
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