Heirlooms forum: Brassicas ~ Growing and saving seeds

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2
Views: 1829, Replies: 26 » Jump to the end
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
Critters Allowed Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
Image
wildflowers
Aug 15, 2010 12:49 PM CST

Moderator

Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, cauliflowers, kale, kohlrabi, mustard and turnips are all part of the brassicas, sometimes considered the cabbage family, or "greens".

Many brassicas can be grown as spring or fall crops, preferring the cooler weather. Here in Texas, it's a bit tricky trying to raise brassicas, since we have such hot summers. There are varieties that can withstand our heat a little better, though.

Broccoli, for example, planted in spring may stand in the ground well into the following year. Then flowering and going to seed.

And all brassicas will cross with each other, with the help of honeybees, of course. Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts cross readily with each other, as do radish and mustard.

Honeybees pollinating broccoli flowers
Thumb of 2010-08-15/wildflowers/1276d4

If you allow your brassicas to go to seed, remember that brassica seed shatters easily. Harvesting is best done when 60% to 70% of the pods have turned brown and most of their inner seeds are light brown and firm.

Once ready, cut seed stalks into a paper bag, or other container and let set in a dark place, like the garage for about a week, or whenever you remember them. Pods will easily break open by shaking or slightly rubbing and fall into the container.


For more info, see growing kale here: http://cubits.org/CP101/thread/view/27617/
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Stephanie
Fort Worth, TX (8a)
Charter ATP Member Cat Lover Region: Texas Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Region: United States of America
Image
stephanietx
Aug 17, 2010 10:03 AM CST
What type of broccoli do you grow? We had some last fall that I got from someone at the round up in Arlington and it went to seed and we collected it. I have no clue what variety it is, though! LOL
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
Critters Allowed Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
Image
wildflowers
Aug 17, 2010 10:27 AM CST

Moderator

Ya know Stephanie, it's the same for me, it doesn't happen often but , someone gave me seeds that I don't know the variety... other than it was a sprouting type? It wasn't as sweet as I would have liked. I donated the seeds to someone who was sending a relief package overseas.

I remember growing a sprouting broccoli some years ago that was so sweet all the children asked for it when they came to the house. Wish I knew what the name was!!

I'm getting ready to try some broccoli raab. I really like it with the small florets.

How about you...were you happy with yours?

May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Aug 24, 2011 3:38 PM CST
I just want to mention some of the Asian brasscias:

Bok Choy / Pak Choi Brassica rapa var. chinensis
Gai Lan "Chinese Kale/Brocoli" Brassica oleracea
Komatsuna "Spinach Mustard" Brassica rapa

and an Italian heirloom:
Spigariello Liscia / Broccolo Spigariello Brassica oleracea var. 'Spigariello'

One vendor told me that all Brassicas are insect-pollinated, and they all cross-pollinate, requiring a separation distance of ⅓ mile (the foraging range of some insects).

Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
Critters Allowed Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
Image
wildflowers
Aug 24, 2011 4:24 PM CST

Moderator

Rick, thank you for adding some Asian brassicas.

Spigariello Liscia looks very intersting as well.

Yes, all brassicas will cross-pollinate, so isolation is necessary - if you are growing more than one variety at the same time.

I'm ready for some cooler temps - I'd love to try some Asian varieties!
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Baltimore County, MD (Zone 7a)
A bit of this and a bit of that
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Herbs
Composter Container Gardener Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Dog Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader
Image
bitbit
Sep 14, 2011 8:15 AM CST
Do Brassicas require insects or pollen from another plant for pollination? Or can I bag a cluster of flowers to prevent crossing, and still get viable seed like I can with tomatoes and peppers?
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Sep 14, 2011 11:42 AM CST
I've been told they are insect-polinated (by a commercial vendor of Asian seeds who offers many brassicas).

He warned me they should be grown ONE THIRD OF A MILE APART to ASSURE no cross-polination (his idea of the foraging range of some insect pollinators). I thin k he is being very careful!

>> from another plant

That, I don't know. However, you could bag the branches you want to keep clean, then one night after the bees are asleep, cover everything ELSE with row covers, well-battened-down.. The next morning, un-bag only the branch you want pollinated.

Baltimore County, MD (Zone 7a)
A bit of this and a bit of that
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Herbs
Composter Container Gardener Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Dog Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader
Image
bitbit
Sep 15, 2011 2:48 PM CST
I'm only on 1/8 acre (and half is too shaded to grow veggies), so separating by 1/3 mile is impossible, unfortunately. The row covers sound like they'd work, but that's a lot to go through, especially since I'm growing so many different brassicas. It sounds like I'm better off just continuing to buy seeds in this case.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Sep 15, 2011 2:53 PM CST
>> especially since I'm growing so many different brassicas.

I have the same problem! If I start rotating Brassica crops, my yard is so small that some years I won't be able to grow ANY, so I might try just one variety of Bok Choy in pots or some little corner.

But the seeds aren't very expensive, and I only need a few. But I WANT to save seeds!

Baltimore County, MD (Zone 7a)
A bit of this and a bit of that
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Herbs
Composter Container Gardener Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Dog Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader
Image
bitbit
Sep 15, 2011 3:56 PM CST
RickCorey said:

But the seeds aren't very expensive, and I only need a few. But I WANT to save seeds!



Yes, we're in exactly the same boat.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Sep 15, 2011 6:53 PM CST
OCD ...

O Seed D ...

Obsessive and excessive seed Disorder.

I hope I never recover!
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
Critters Allowed Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
Image
wildflowers
Sep 16, 2011 9:25 AM CST

Moderator

LOL! I've had OSD or OCD for awhile myself! Rolling on the floor laughing

I've been looking around trying to see if anyone can offer a good way to save multiple brassica seeds but didn't find a simple solution. I guess you could save seeds of ONE variety and not let the others bloom, or if there was a way to ensure the different varieties would flower at different times, that would be nice! But, since they are insect pollinated, isolation is more difficult and too much work!

Here's some seed saving info I thought has some good info: http://www.realseeds.co.uk/seedsavinginfo.html
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
Critters Allowed Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
Image
wildflowers
Sep 17, 2011 7:50 AM CST

Moderator

Did you see the the section about brassicas?

It's here: http://www.realseeds.co.uk/brassicaseedprocessing.html
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Sep 19, 2011 1:22 PM CST
Yup, thanks.

What a great website! I sent them a questuion and comment on dessicants and they emailed right back.

Baltimore County, MD (Zone 7a)
A bit of this and a bit of that
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Herbs
Composter Container Gardener Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Dog Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader
Image
bitbit
Sep 19, 2011 3:00 PM CST
Yeah, that is a great site!

I noticed it says you need 20-40 plants to get enough genetic diversity in your seeds. I don't grow nearly that many of any brassica variety. I'll have to learn all this seed-saving stuff once I have more land, I think, and just buy my seeds until then.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Sep 19, 2011 5:30 PM CST
I wonder how much genetic drift and enfeeblement can occur in just 2-3 generations?

My main obstacle is limitng myself to just one Brassica per season.

I guess I could watch carefully (daily) and chop any flowering stalks on varieties I was NOT saving.

Baltimore County, MD (Zone 7a)
A bit of this and a bit of that
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Herbs
Composter Container Gardener Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Dog Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader
Image
bitbit
Sep 20, 2011 6:25 AM CST
Yeah, that should be easy on things like cabbage, sprouts, kale, etc. which are usually harvested to eat long before they flower. But keeping broccoli from opening any flowers takes vigilance. I'm a bit of a lazy gardener, so my florets often have a flower or two open by the time I harvest them.
Name: Cheryl
NE Cedar Rapids
Image
HylaBrook
May 26, 2012 5:33 PM CST
One idea is to save the seeds and use them for sprouts in the winter. Then it will not matter what crossed with what. They will all be spicy nice little healthy sprouts and something fresh in January in our northern climes ( Iowa) is a real treat.
Cheryl
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
May 27, 2012 12:11 AM CST
>> save the seeds and use them for sprouts

That's a good idea! When they're YOUR seeds, you don't need to wonder whether the vendor treated them with a fungicide like Thiram and forgot to tell you.
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
Critters Allowed Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
Image
wildflowers
May 28, 2012 12:21 PM CST

Moderator

Yes, Cheryl, I like this tip! Thumbs up

Rick, very true, it's always nice to know the seeds are untreated. I've ordered seeds I thought were organic that arrived with a pink coating Blinking No thanks!
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Heirlooms forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by dirtdorphins and is called "Lilium 'Pink Perfection'"