Howard Payne
by on January 31, 2020
How to Harvest Seeds from your Heirloom Broccoli
Harvesting seeds from your Brocolli or any member of the “Cabbage or Cole Family” (including Cabbage, Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts and Kale more about with garden plant identification ) actually starts long before the end of the growing season- the process begins with planting! Members of this family can cross-pollinate and should, ideally, be planted at least 1,000 feet from each other to prevent cross-pollinatation.
If you have a small home garden and would like to harvest your own Broccoli Seeds, try planting only Broccoli (or whichever Cole Crop’s seeds you hope to harvest).
If you planted multiple Cole Crops, have already reached the end of growing season, and would like to try to harvest seeds- Go For It! It’s always worth a try!
Harvesting Broccoli Seeds
At the end of the growing season, stop trimming the Broccoli heads for consumption. First you will notice small yellow flowers then, the small green pods will begin to form.
If you only want to collect a small amount of the seeds, wait for individual pods to dry to a light brown color. Pods toward the bottom of the plant will dry first, followed by those higher on the plant. Once a pod appears dry, you can pick it and open it by hand or by walking on it. If you would like to collect the maximum amount of seeds, pull the entire plant from the ground after the majority of the pods appear dry. You can place all of your dried pods in a cloth bag and open them all by smashing them with a mallet or walking on them. Green pods will rarely produce viable seeds- even if the pods dry after the plant is pulled. All harvested seeds should be stored in a cool, dark and dry environment until you are ready to plant them.
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