The Q&A Archives: Broccoli Rabe Goes to Seed

Questioner's Location: Orange, CT
Date: February 28, 1999

Question: When and/or how often should I pick/cut broccoli rabe. Mine grow very tall and quickly run to seed. They never look like the ones in the grocery store. I follow the planting instructions, many plants come up but the results are very disappointing. I am concerned that I should be pruning or cutting them back or harvesting daily.

Answer: Broccoli rabe is a cool-season crop, like other members of the cabbage family, but it's even more apt to bolt when the temperatures start to rise. Concentrate on growing rabe in early spring and in fall when temperatures are cool. If you want to grow it all summer as well, try a shade cloth cover, and keep the soil cool and moist with mulch. Hope this helps!

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