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Spring care for overwintered broccoli/beds

 
Posts: 42
Location: Suffolk County, Long Island NY
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After serious garden failure last year, I spent the winter reading and learning what I did wrong, but I can't find much info on spring maintenance for beds that are holding plants that have overwintered.  Specifically,  I had some Broccoli plants in my Vegtrug that started to thrive late last fall.  I threw a makeshift frame up and covered the plants with winter row covers.  Much to my surprise, several of them now have small heads of broccoli.

    1. Should I harvest what I have, amend the soil, and rotate another crop in?
    2. Would it make sense to let them grow more through the cool part of spring, harvest, and then do a new crop there?  If so, do I add compost/fertilizer and loosen up the soil around the plants?

Thanks!

 
pollinator
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Location: Outside Detroit, MI
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Either let these grow larger and then harvest the heads... or harvest  these small heads now......

But in either choice.... only harvest the head... leave the stem and leaves and that broccoli plant will produce additional heads.   Usually the secondary heads are smaller... but not always.

Congrats by the way!
We had kale overwinter.  With it we just wait till end of April and start harvesting leaves like normal. Will get a whole nother year from these survivors!!!

Feel free to fertilize.  Doesn't hurt.   Just don't do it up against the stems.   And... though not popular to some.... for a weak but helpful one or two off fertile drink... consider urine. (collected and carefully poured.... not sprayed since this is an edible).

Another amendment that people usually dont ever think of.... if you drink milk: dilute any remaining / almost spoiled milk and pour into the soil around your plants.  it feeds the soil life and they then help provide nutrients to your plants.   Works the same for rinsing out your empty milk jugs before you recycle them.
 
Susan Mené
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C. E. Rice   Thank you so much for the helpful post.  I probably would have fertilized close to the stems had you not warned me. I used the diluted milk last year and it is fantastic.  I have to admit, it is pretty exciting to have the broccoli survive the winter and it's nice to know everyone here gets that!
 
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I wish i would have kept mine longer after over wintering. After harvesting i removed half of the plants. The ones i did not remove produced as much in side shoots as the main harvest. The head was not as big, but there were several heads on the plant. If space is not an issue,  see what happens. I was able to plant strawberries in with them. It was only 2 weeks that they shared the same spot.
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Susan Mené
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wayne fajkus Thanks for sharing your experience. I will definitely hold them over for a while.  I am tripling my planting space this year, so space is not an issue.  I harvested all my brussel sprout leave an a good amount of broccoli leaves last fall; toasted and salted they were fabulous eating.  I can always do that if more/ bigger heads don't materialize.
 
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