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I grew two types of broccoli this year. One was monaco I think, and the other one I'm not sure about (maybe calabrese?).

We started harvesting the monaco more than a month ago and per this question we have been getting a good crop of secondary heads ever since.

But the other one has given us nothing at all in terms of secondary heads (nothing wrong with its maincrop).

In neither case did they get anywhere close to flowering. Is the difference down to variety? Or is it something to do with how and when we harvested?

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thought you might be interested in this YouTube video from University of Illinois Extension: Maintain Broccoli for Late Season Harvests –  Mike Perry Aug 30 '11 at 22:42
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up vote 6 down vote accepted

In my experience, it is definitely down to variety rather than harvesting; given exactly the same growing and harvesting conditions, some varieties produce a really good crop of secondary heads, others very few or none at all.

I have found Corvet to be a very dependable 'cut-and-come-again' variety - I've been growing it for three years now, and it hasn't disappointed me. Another good one in this respect is Chevalier; I haven't tried it myself, but having seen it on my allotment neighbour's plot, I would say it is every bit as good as Corvet.

Two other good 'cut-and-come-again' varieties, I'm told, are Green Magic and Crown Sceptre.

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I had a lot of secondary heads from Nutri Bud. Also, note that most catalogs I've seen will tell you if the variety produces a lot of side shoots -- this is a selling point. –  bstpierre Jul 28 '11 at 12:18
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@bstpierre: Yes, they're in the catalogs, but how much is truth, and how much is sales blurb...even though seed merchants have their reputation to consider, some are inclined to exaggerate ;). I always feel happier with a recommended variety. Nutri Bud sounds good, but judging from a quick online search, I don't think it's available in the UK. –  Mancuniensis Jul 28 '11 at 14:21
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You're right. ("Don't trust someone who's got something to sell you.") I buy my seeds from a co-op, and I trust that catalog (Fedco -- doesn't help you in the UK). YMMV with others... –  bstpierre Jul 28 '11 at 14:49
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