Bolting Broccoli

My broccoli was coming along beautifully. Heads were forming but not quite big enough to harvest. Then, over the past 2 days, they have bolted forming long yellow flowers. I have now removed the spindley flower stems in hope that I may get side shoots of broccoli forming.

Does anyone know what I did wrong. They were planted in a new raised bed which was filled with home made compost and bought compost. The plants and leaves themseles are massive (although this might be normal) and I think it may be down to too mch nitrogen in the bed.

Anyone got any advice or explaination?


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,360

    The soil needs to be firmed well when planting which is tricky in a raised bed.  They will also bolt if allowed to go short of water.  Having said that, a few of mine in the ground have bolted in this hot, dry weather.  Keep watering them every day and pick the side shoots as soon as they are ready - you can blanch (2 mins in boiling water followed by plunging them into a large container of iced water) and then freeze them if you can't use them immediately.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,115

    I also presume the plants are F1 hybrids.  Specifically bred to mature all at the same time.

    Remove all the flowers and you should get some secondary, but much smaller, heads.

    In my opinion home-freezing of the cabbage family gives nasty results.  For example sprouts.  I would rather eat the broccoli at every meal until they are all gone.  We are having a cauliflower festival at the moment!

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,692

     I've had trouble stopping lettuce from bolting with this weather no matter how well they're watered. Not usually a problem up here in Scotland  - we normally have so much rain, so you're not alone bcosergio.

    Poor plants - they don't know if it's New York or New Year this summer!  image

  • My brocolli started turning to seed and rather than lose the lot, I harvested all the heads (each about 8" across), cut them into little florets and froze them.  I have three large bags of forzen brocolli now.  I had my first taste this evening and they were so sweet and deliiiiiiiiicious!   As long as you put them in boiling water for only a couple of minutes then drain, run through some cold water, drain again and open freeze on trays then bag them up, they should be fine. But it was so frustrating having the lot harvest at the same time.  Next year I shall sow a new succession of brocolli about 4-6 weeks apart so that i have a more continuos crop.

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