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Select plants to save: Choose plants that have the traits you want to carry over for the following year - this may mean not eating your best heads of broccoli, in order to use them for their seeds! Allow selected broccoli head to mature. It will flower and produce seed pods.
Harvest plant: Once the pods are dry on the head of broccoli, remove the plant from the ground.
Dry: Hang heads to dry for about two weeks.
Extract Seeds: Remove dried pods from the plant and crush them with your hands or a rolling pin in order to free the seeds. Collect seeds and store.
Label and Store: Broccoli seeds remain viable for up to 5 years.
Broccoli does best in cold climates and temperature has a significant impact on seed production. Broccoli should be planted such that the plant faces its coldest temperature when it has matured. Sow in early to mid-fall, so that maturity occurs in late fall and flowers bloom in early winter.
Broccoli is pollinated by bees, making isolation an important concern for those interested in saving seed. For instance, broccoli will easily cross with Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale. To preserve the integrity of your broccoli seeds separate broccoli from other members of Brassica oleracea (Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale) by at least 1000 meters.
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