Broccoli seeds...

I let the side sprouts of my brocolli plants from this winter go to seed instead of eating them. I'm shocked at how those little bitty bunches grew into HYOOGE seed stalks!
Pretty yellow flowers that the local honeybees went bonkers over.
I now have some very tall brocolli plants with dozens of large, fat, green seed pods sticking out all over the place. The pods are 2" to 4" long and about 1/4" thick at the middle.
They look a lot like bean pods so I can't help wondering if they are edible. ;-)
Do I need to let these die back and dry naturally, or can I cut the stalks or remove the pods to let them dry?
How do I know when the seeds are mature???
This is my first time EVER growing brocolli, and I'd really like to yank these plants to put in new ones! I need the space......
TIA!
--
K.

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Katra said:

I suspect they are; the leaves are edible, too, but pretty tough, and the stalks are edible once you peel the tough outer layer away.
Radish pods are used in Asian cooking. Maybe broccoli pods could also be used. (Both are in the same family.) The broccoli pods could be too tough or stringy, though. Try nibbling one raw to test for tenderness.

If you want to let the seeds mature so you can turn them into nutritious broccoli sprouts, you have to let the pods dry on the plant.

The pods will be dry and the seeds will be dark.

Harvest the pods (if they aren't too tough and stringy to eat) and clear the space for the next crop.
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Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

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Hi All, why not leave one or two plants at the end of the row, when they mature ther will be well enough seeds for what you need. one seed head will produce enough seeds to fill a packet. hope this helps you.
Richard M. Watkin.

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I ended up taking the seeds down because something was eating them... The pod appearance has not change for awhile now, but they are still green looking. Just a bit of yellow showing that they are starting to dry.
I'll update if I can get them to sprout. I have greenhouses to protect seedlings now. :-) Thanks for the input!
--
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Pat,
In wet climates, seeds can mold. Therefore, if there is any doubt, once the seed shells begin to dry, you can put them indoors. DO NOT put them in an airtight container. Paper envelopes let seeds breathe (not slick or waxed or oiled paper... just a standard mailing envelope can work).
g

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I am about to walk to the garden with half a tray of savoy cabbage seedlings to transplant. The seeds were bought in 2000 and they sprouted vigorously (there are five or six seedlings per cell). Ziploc bag in a freezder, that is all they need.
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For now, I put the podded stalks into a paper bag to dry. There were eaten pods all over the ground! Something was stripping the mature pods and eating just the seeds out of them.....
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snipped-for-privacy@someplace.net.net (Pat Kiewicz) wrote:

<lol> Yes, tough indeed!I tried a few, but they have been on the plants for a few weeks now.

Well... Something was eating them so I had to go ahead and chance cutting them. There have been no changes now in pod size/shape now for at least a month.
I put the pods into a paper bag to dry.

Okay. We'll see what happens now.

I ended up doing that yesterday. I'm hoping the pods are mature enough now to dry ok in a bag and still be viable. I put new brocolli and a few cauliflower plants in their place.
Thanks for the input!!!
--
Om.

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(Pat Kiewicz) wrote:

Don't plant broccoli in the same place year after year. You'll end up with a nasty infestation of club root, or some other disease.
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Okay, good point! ;-) This will only be my second season. The first crop ever got planted last November. I'm very new to trying to grow that family of veggies!
Cheers!
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K.

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Katra-
A little belatedly, but here's what I do for brassicas and things with similar pods:
Cut the dry flower heads when most of the pods have turned brown and put in a PAPER shopping bag. I'm save the nice ones with handles from my infrequent shopping excursions*.
Stash indoors in a dry place until everything is crackly dry- in my location with hot air heat, this is no problem in the fall/winter! Then just crumble everything with your hands; the seeds will settle at the bottom of the bag and you can lift/pour off the big chunks, then just pour what's left from one pail to another outdoors on a breezy day. If you're serious about seed saving, a set of screens with various mesh sizes is a help, though not essential.
Dead easy, most of the work can be done whenever you feel like it.
*I've been on my own for 3+ years; finally having to buy my own clothes.
Peace
Gary Woods AKA K2AHC- PGP key on request, or at home.earthlink.net/~garygarlic Zone 5/6 in upstate New York, 1420' elevation. NY WO G
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That is what I did. The pods are still green, but they are large and lumpy and have not changed the way they look now for a good month.

I've used the "air cleaning" method for chaffe before. <lol> The seeds are heavy so if you crush dry pods in a bowl, you can pick out most of the trash from the top after shaking the bowl. The seeds go to the bottom, then you can air clean the remaining light weight trash.
As long as these dry properly, I think I'll get a good crop of seeds and see if I can plant them.

<grins> Thanks for the input!

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