This step by step guide shows how to collect broccoli seeds from broccoli plants you have grown in your garden. Collecting broccoli seeds is easy and a great way to complete the growing cycle and save money.
Saving seeds is a great way to improve the health and yield of the plant from year to year. Choose a plant which has a strong centre stem, healthy leaves, good flavor and which produced the largest centre head of broccoli and side shoots. Never save seeds from plants which are showing signs of disease.
It is the florets which we eat that produces the flower stems and pods from which the seeds grow. After the centre broccoli head and some of the side shoots have been harvested let new side shoots (florets) grow. They will form tall spikes with yellow flowers. Along these long stems, pods will form with the seeds forming inside.
Collecting and Storing Broccoli Seeds
Tools and Materials Needed
- 2 Bowls
- Small Airtight Container or Bag – These small spice jars are perfect for storing seeds and can be reused saving on plastic waste and money. (Paid link)
How to Collect Broccoli Seeds
- Choose the Broccoli Plant then let the Florets Flower
Once you have chosen the broccoli plant you would like to keep the seeds from let the side shoots grow and form flowers. You will see the pods form along the stem. Keep watering the plant well and fertilize every two weeks with liquid fertilizer.
- Let the Seed Pods Dry
Over several weeks the pods will dry out. Once the pods are almost dry they can be picked then placed in an open container.
- Pick the Pods
Check the plant every few days picking the pods as they dry. Once you have enough, leave the pods to finish drying for another week in the open container. When the pods feel brittle, they are ready to open.
- Open the Broccoli Seed Pods
Hold a pod over a bowl then pull open the pod. There will be a centre strip with seeds on either side.
- Remove the Seeds
Empty the seeds into the bowl then place the empty pods in the other bowl. They can be put in the compost when you are finished.
Place the seeds in a small airtight container or bag. Remove as much air as possible out of the bag before securing tightly. Label with the contents and the date collected. Store in a cool dark place with low humidity. The broccoli seeds will be viable for up to 2 years or even longer however the germination rate will go down the older the seed is.
These top rated dissolvable food labels are perfect for labelling seed jars and containers. (Paid link)
Some pods won’t produce seeds however it is easy to tell as you can easily see and feel the seeds in the pods. This will save time when you open the pods.
Once the broccoli seed pods have been collected the plant can be placed in the compost bin. It is best to chop up the thick centre stem with the end of your shovel so it can decompose.
For information on germinating and growing broccoli from seed see this Broccoli Growing guide. You might also be interested in this guide to Vegetable Gardening or this Homesteading guide to get more out of your home.
Do you have silverbeet growing in your garden? See this Silverbeet Seed Saving Guide.
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