Sunday, January 23, 2011

Growing Broccoli DeCicco

A few days ago I mentioned about gathering those broccoli DeCicco seeds, and I did it. If you let the broccoli heads bloom, each little yellow flower will turn into a seed pod. You just leave them and let the seed pods dry up completely (no longer green) on the broccoli stalks. You can then clip off a bunch of them and break them open to collect the seeds. Depending on the pod's size, you can collect anywhere from 4-8 seeds in each pod.

I think the yellow flowers are quite pretty, and the bees love them as you can see from the photos. I love bees since they are essential for honey, so I leave plenty of broccoli flowers for them. Do you see the pollen sacks on the bees' legs in the photos?

I use a Canon PowerShot SD550 to shoot photos for my blog. It's not a fancy camera, so I have to get very close to the bees in order to take closeup shots. A year ago, I would not have done that for fear of getting stung by the bees. I have definitely overcame that fear.

Many of the seed pods have cracked open when they dried up, and the seeds were dispersed. There are many seedlings growing around the original broccoli now; however, I think pill bugs or some other bugs have been nibbling on the young leaves. I will plant a few in cell packs perhaps in the greenhouse to assure they grow up nicely. They are quite hardy, and I have learned that they do best in well drained soil.

The seeds have dispersed and germinated on their own

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