Seed Saving

Broccoli usually self-incompatible and must be cross-pollinated by insects. This means there must be a number of plants flowering at the same time. All of the Brassica oleracea crops are the same species and will cross with each other. To maintain purity you have to ensure that only one type flowers at once. The alternative is to isolate them, either by distance (1000 yards for different varieties, 1500 yards for different crops), or by caging them (don't forget they need insects for pollination). Save the seed from at least 5 plants to maintain some genetic diversity.

Seed is produced in long pods and should be gathered when the older bottom pods first start to split open. Watch them carefully as they shatter easily when they are fully ripe. Cut the seedpod bearing stems and dry them in a warm place (I put small quantities in a paper grocery bag so I don't lose any seeds). The large seeds are easily handled and cleaned. Of course it is essential that they are thoroughly dry before storage.

Broccoli Raab will cross with Chinese cabbage, turnips, some rapeseed (canola) and other plants in the same species.Isolate by 1/8 mile for home use. For pure seed of small plantings isolate by 1/4 to 1/2 mile.

Seed Viability in Years: 3-4 years

Germination Percentage: 75%