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Frankenstein broccoli - overwinter stuff that shouldn't

 
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Hey everyone,

Perhaps I'm just not on the up and up of what can or can't overwinter here, but today I went out to the garden to find some broccolis that were starting to sprout from the stems again! We're in zone 7a, and I was under the assumption that broccoli was not hardy to here, and that we would have to reseed it from year to year. If this is not so, as is apparently the case (likely as a result of our very mild winter we're having here, but still, it got below freezing many times, for long periods of time, and even snowed a bit!!), what is the protocol for starting the season over again with these plants? They were never harvested, and instead allowed to bolt to seed, so they're all very lanky and long stemmed. If I cut the stems down to about 5 inches, do you think that this will kill them off? Should I just let them grow as they are, and view them as a leaf crop instead? Anyone have any experience in this?
 
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
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you wont get a giant head of broccoli the second year, but you will get lots of broccoli florets and broccoli flowers to eat.

and just so you know broccoli can self seed in one year, after you harvest the main head just leave the side shoots to flower. by winter they will have made seed and dropped them *thousands of them*.
 
Posts: 98
Location: BC Interior, zone 5a
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Some brocolli is hardy enough to overwinter, especially at zone 7. Some brocolli make seeds in the first year and some not until the next spring, depending if they are a early or late variety.
 
pollinator
Posts: 466
Location: Upstate SC
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Depending on the cultivar, broccoli is cold hardy to between 15 to 10 degrees F, although the florets can often be damaged by temps in the low 20's F that don't hurt the rest of the plant.
 
pollinator
Posts: 486
Location: Bothell, WA - USA
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My Western Washington overwinter results (no cover beyond white clover ground cover in raised beds):
Kale - ok
turnips - ok
radish/daikon - mostly ok - froze back close to ground
beets - 2/3 ok
swiss chard - 1/2 ok
cabbage - about 1/2 ok, some are heading and some are seeding
broccoli - just a few (10%)
mizuna - just a few (10%)
tomatoes - ZERO!

 
pollinator
Posts: 356
Location: Portugal (zone 9) and Iceland (zone 5)
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In Iceland, zone 6, my results for overwinter: (under some mulching)

Kale - all
turnips - zero
parsley: all
swiss chard - zero (they would overwinter if there wouldn't be so many freeze/thaw cycles)
beets - zero
cabbage - also about half
broccoli - usually a quarter (but this winter, most, because it has been mild)
mizuna - zero
tomatoes - zero (but seeds that drop to ground remain viable and germinate when brought indoors)
strawberries: all
spring onions: all

I also overwinter, with some thicker mulch, mints, thyme or calendulas
 
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