The Q&A Archives: Overwintered Broccoli

Question: I got a late start on my garden last year. My broccoli didn't produce any sizeable heads. Our winter was so mild the plants survived. They have flowered and are doing fine. Now I am wondering if they will produce again or if I dig them out and plant some new starts?

Answer: If your broccoli has flowered, it's past its prime. Broccoli grows best in cool weather and should be planted in March in your gardening region, or in September for a winter harvest. After the main stem is harvested, your plants will develop smaller side-shoots for later harvest. When grown in warm weather, the plants will bolt (flower). If this happens, remove them from the garden and plant something else, such as carrots or tomatoes. After harvesting this second crop, you can plant broccoli again.

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