Cut ‘N Come Again Coles

I’ve known for years that broccoli will produce little broccolets after the central bunch is harvested, but imagine my surprise when I harvested a cabbage and found little buds growing out of the stalk. What the heck? I let them grow, just to see what would happen.

Several baseball-sized cabbage heads grew from the buds.

IMG_2308 (1)

They were loose, not the tightly-packed heads from the first harvest, but just fine for making soup or casseroles. Not bad, really.

Then I checked my other coles. The Brussels sprouts have put up new stalks from the buds at the base of the stalks I harvested.

One of the broccoli plants had developed six new stems,  and I protected them with floating row cover that winter. Each of them grew a full-sized head the following spring.

Who knew? This is another way to extend your harvest. Just keep in mind that the succeeding harvests will be smaller than the first harvest. (Well, except for Mr. Superbroccoli, who may have been a fluke.) With the soil-shading bulk of the first harvest out of the way, you can plant something else between the stumps of the first crop and continue to harvest while the new planting grows to the point where they need the space.

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