How to Collect Broccoli Seeds
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How to Collect Broccoli Seeds

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.

Which broccoli plant should I save seeds from?

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.

When do broccoli plants produce seed?

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

  • Container
  • 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)
  • Label

Instructions

How to Collect Broccoli Seeds

  1. 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.

    Broccoli plant in flower before the seed pods form.

  2. 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.

    Picking the broccoli seed pods when dry.

  3. 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.

    Broccoli seed pods left in an open container to completely dry.

  4. 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.

    Opening the seed pods then emptying into a bowl.

  5. 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.

    Broccoli seeds in a bowl ready to be stored.

  6. Store

    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.

    Storing the broccoli seeds in an airtight container with a label.

These top rated dissolvable food labels are perfect for labelling seed jars and containers. (Paid link)

Tip

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.

To Print or Save this guide on How to Collect Broccoli Seeds, click the button below for the PDF File.

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