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When to pull Brassicas ?

 
Adam Garcia Gemenis
Posts: 3
Location: Southeast, PA
forest garden fungi
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When do my fellow Northeast US gardeners pull their Broccoli and Collards out of the ground ? I had a great Brassica crop this year but with the consistently hot weather a few of the plants have been afflicted with white flies. Is it worth keeping the Collards or Broccoli in for a second harvest in the fall or better to pull them and rotate in a new crop ? I am on the fence as to whether it's worth fighting these white flies for a second harvest. I am in Southeastern, PA.
 
Amit Enventres
Posts: 329
Location: Ohio, USA
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Hi!

I'm in Ohio. Got some brassicas. They were pest-heavy earlier. I left them in the ground and messed with the nutrients (turns out they were low in Ca, Mg, and probably Mn), (not uncommon when drought hits heavily leached soils). Once they got the right nutrients and the lady bugs and spiders found my garden, the problem is gone. I would say you COULD pull, and then what? Re-plant or find something else? Or, you could see if something's missing that could solve the problem and be an improvement for the next year's crop. I think that's more a personal choice. Unless they are bolting or really dead, they can still recover, though they will never be as strong as if they never suffered trauma. You can still get seed (if it's heirloom or OP) and they are still acting as a cover crop and good-bug sink.

Good luck!
 
Adam Garcia Gemenis
Posts: 3
Location: Southeast, PA
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All good points. Since this is my first year having good success with broccoli, I wasn't sure if it will continue to yield enough to keep it's spot.  It's Green Sprouting Imperial Calabrese 1880's Italian Heirloom.  I looked it up and many other's have success with this variety through the frost. I'm going to straighten things out and keep them in.
 
Amit Enventres
Posts: 329
Location: Ohio, USA
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Congrats on the good success!

If I were you, from what I see you wrote here, I would keep my best few around to bolt and set seed for the following year and pull the rest, but that's just me.
 
chip sanft
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Location: 18 acres & heart in zone 4 (central MN). Current abode: Knoxville (zone 6 /7)
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Like Amit, I'd leave the most successful ones to bolt and save that seed. But I wouldn't pull any. Rather, I'd chop them, either dropping the green where it is or composting it. But I'd definitely leave the roots to break down and add their organic matter to the soil.
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