The “Crown Jewel of Nutrition” – broccoli (Brassica oleracea) is one of the most common vegetables amongst the Americans and more and more Americans now prefer to organically grow their own broccolis at home rather than going for the store brought ones.
Broccoli is power-packed with nutrients including, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, potassium, fibers, iron, etc, which makes it a great option to add to your daily diet. This versatile vegetable can be made a part of your salads, soups, pasta, etc.
Broccoli might be a little bit tricky vegetable to grow at home but if taken care of properly and grown in the right season under the right conditions, you would never want to buy your broccoli from the store again!
One of the main questions people have while growing broccoli is how many times can a single broccoli plant be harvested and is it possible for your broccoli to grow again once it is harvested.
Can my broccoli plant produce more broccoli heads after the first harvest?
Well, on an average broccoli plants usually take about 90 to 100 days to grow the main broccoli head.
Now once you harvest this broccoli head, the broccoli plant will not be able to produce another main broccoli head but fortunately enough, once the main broccoli head is cut or harvested your broccoli plant is would be able to produce some smaller broccoli side heads.
So yes, it is possible to get a second harvest after the first one, in the form of smaller broccoli heads that will grow on the side of the main broccoli head.
While the original or main broccoli heads are bigger in size, which is usually around 4 inches to 7 inches (or 10 cm to 18 cm) in size/diameter, the side heads growing around the main broccoli head will be much smaller in size as compared to the original head.
How to get your first harvest?
It is very important to note that in order to get the second harvest you need to be very careful while harvesting your first main broccoli head. Improperly cutting or harvesting the main broccoli head the first time could reduce or even completely eliminate the chances of the second harvest.
First of all, it is important to ensure that your broccoli head is ready for harvest. You can begin by checking the size of the main broccoli head.
As already discussed, the main or central broccoli usually grows up to a size of 4 to 7 inches in diameter, depending on the variety of broccoli used. For example, the Sun King broccoli is known to produce the biggest heads.
After checking the size of your central broccoli head, you will also want to make sure that the florets of your broccoli head are deep and vibrant green and color and are tightly and compactly packed.
If you see any yellowness in the broccoli head then it is a sign that the broccoli is bolting and thus needs to be harvested immediately before it turns completely yellow and bitter, making it inedible.
Now once you find that your broccoli head is ready for harvest, the next thing you need to do is to cut your broccoli head off from the stem. An ideal time to harvest your broccoli head is always early in the morning.
This is because broccoli has a very high respiration rate and during this time of the day, the soil has not heated up and thus gives the best flavor. For cutting off the broccoli head you need to use a sharp pair of garden scissors or a sharp knife.
It is very important to ensure that you are using a sharp pair of scissors or knives because the broccoli head needs to be harvested in one swift motion.
Now using the knife or scissors, make a cut at about five inches or 12.5 cm below the broccoli head stem. Make sure to avoid sawing motion while cutting your broccoli head.
Using repeated and sawing motion while harvesting, can damage the broccoli plant and thus reduce the chances of a second harvest. So try to get your harvest in one single and swift cut.
How to prepare for the second harvest?
Now once you are done with the first harvest of your broccoli head, the next step is to get rid of unwanted flowers growing around your broccoli plant.
It is important to cut and get rid of these flowers as they can attract butterflies and moths which can lay eggs on them, thereby reducing the possibility of getting a second harvest.
Now finally that you are done with the first harvest of your main broccoli head, you can wait for a few weeks for the smaller broccoli heads to grow around the central broccoli.
Like this, in a matter of about 3 months, you can get about two to three harvests from a single broccoli plant.
So as discussed once after harvesting your main broccoli head the broccoli plant cannot produce another central broccoli head from the broccoli head stem but that doesn’t mean that you cannot use this stem to grow another broccoli plant altogether.
You can follow the following steps in order to use the harvested broccoli head stem to grow another broccoli plant.
How to regrow broccoli by using the broccoli stem?
It is very much possible to use your broccoli stalk or stem to regrow your broccoli.
1. Choose your broccoli head stem
As already discussed that once your broccoli plant has produced the main broccoli head, it is not possible for the stalk to grow another central broccoli head so you can use this harvested head stem or stalk to produce a proper broccoli head.
Choose a stem that is not damaged in any form and the side stems branching out from it are nice and intact. It is preferable to go with a long central stem.
Make a clean cut in the stem using a sharp knife or scissors, ensuring that it is at least 5 to 6 inches long. Now remove any leaves if present in the stem.
2. Transferring the broccoli stem into a jar filled with water
Now that the broccoli stem is ready for propagation the next step is to transfer this broccoli stem into a large glass container or glass jar with a wide mouth.
Now add some water to the jar making sure that when you put your broccoli stalk in it, 2 to 3 inches of the lower part of the broccoli stem will be immersed in water.
3. Placing this glass jar in a suitable area
Your broccoli stem will require sunlight for sprouting. Place this jar by a windowsill, or in any area where you feel that it will receive sufficient sunlight. A minimum of 6 to 7 hours of sunlight is a must for timely sprouting.
In about a week you will be able to see new roots growing from the base of your broccoli stem. You might also be able to see some new leaves and tiny branches arising from the top part of the stem.
During this time keep on checking the top part of the broccoli stem and make sure that it is not getting dry. If it feels dry then spray some water over the stem to moisten it.
Also, keep a constant check on the quality of the water in the jar. Change the water immediately if it is getting dirty and darker in color.
Slowly you will notice the roots getting longer and darker in color. It is during this time that you will have to transplant your broccoli stem from the glass jar to the soil.
If you wait longer than this then the roots will end up growing too long and thus would make it difficult to transplant them into the soil.
4. Transplanting the broccoli stem into the soil
This is the final step where you take the broccoli stem out of the glass jar and transplant it into the soil in your garden bed or any other larger area.
Remember that broccoli plants grow huge in size, taking up a lot of space so choose your transplanting area accordingly.
Before transplanting there are some points that you need to keep in mind. Make sure that the soil in which you will be transplanting your broccoli, is slightly acidic. Broccolis grow best in soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 6.8.
Also, make sure that the soil drains when as this is a very important condition for growing broccoli plants. Broccolis thrive in soil that is rich in nitrogen so it is a good idea to use nitrogen-rich fertilizers for best results.
So, now once that you have prepared the soil bed, dig a hole (or holes, in case you have more transplants) in it, deep enough for the roots to fit completely and comfortably. In case of multiple broccoli sprouts, make sure that you are spacing them properly and adequately.
Spacing them about 15 to 20 inches apart from each other would be sufficient. Ensure that they are getting sufficient sunlight.
As broccoli is a cool-season crop so it is advisable to plant it in early spring to get a summer harvest
In a matter of a few weeks, you will find your broccoli plant has produced heads. It is a good idea to start harvesting your broccoli when the broccoli head has grown large enough (about 4 to 7 inches in diameter). Harvest your broccoli head in the same way as discussed above.
Related vegetable plants articles:
- Why are the leaves of my broccoli plant turning brown?
- Why do my broccoli leaves turn yellow?
- Square Foot Gardening Broccoli: the best way to grow
- Can you grow broccoli in a pot
- How To Grow Green Beans in a Pot
So we can finally conclude that yes it is possible for your broccoli plant to grow and produce some smaller broccoli heads after harvesting or cutting the main or central broccoli head, however it is not possible for the broccoli plant to grow another main broccoli head. These smaller broccoli heads growing on the side of the central broccoli head would be equivalent to about half of the main broccoli head in size.
Also, it is possible to regrow broccoli from the stem by propagating it in water. This method is especially useful if you are unable to find broccoli seeds for growing your broccoli plant and also helps to reduce wastage as you don’t have to discard the broccoli stems.
I am Elsa, love gardening. I spent lots of time with plants, flowers, it gives me lots of happiness.
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