Are you interested in a reckless oleracea grex?

@Bizarro is in charge of the brassica seeds this year, and I got his permission to post this.

What do you guys think of something like a “reckless oleracea” grex, with seeds from crosses of everything
Brassica oleracea? I’m planning to cross brussels sprouts and kohlrabi this year, and I’d be happy to try anything from the species. I love Brassica oleracea! :smiley:


I mostly eat the flowers (while foraging), but also eat the leaves from any phenotype of oleracea, therefore, I’d love a reckless grex.

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I have that already and it is doing very well. We’ve been enjoying it for a month or so already this year. It’s a great mix-up in my garden. As long as it stays cool in the spring I can just keep harvesting and it just keeps growing more. I started with about fifty varieties of everything I could get ahold of, but I think what survived the first year were mostly various brussels sprouts and cabbages.

I almost positive that no collards or kohlrabi made it to flower and would love to have them mixed in so I’m up for trading seeds with anyone who has those. A couple weeks ago I transplanted a couple of plants into near vicinity of spring planted Yod Fa broccoli and am keeping the bloom stems cut off in hopes of delaying its flowers until the Yod Fa is ready. I grew the Yod Fa last year, it is a very fast maturing, very cold tolerant variety and tastes very good. I don’t know about its winter hardiness yet but spring planting can be done in February, and it sprouts when it wants to. I think it would be sweet if I can get my broccol-ish to take on some of the Yod Fa traits and keep the winter hardiness in there too.

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(Grin.) Yeah, your broccolish is part of my inspiration. I was already planning to try doing exactly what you’re doing when I read your thread about it in the OSPB forum, and I got wildly excited because that meant it was already working for you!

I suspect kohlrabi wouldn’t have survived for me without the mini greenhouse, since I had eleven kohlrabis, and the four that survived were all under it. Then again, I do have two more that may be able to grow back – their leaves are all brown on top, and they’re showing no signs of sprouting more, but they still have big fat hard green stems, so maybe there’s hope for them. We’ll see.

Oh, I might add that none of them were ideally positioned to overwinter anyway. My neighbor was throwing them out from her garden because they were too hard and woody for her to want to eat. I was like, “Ooh, I want those for seeds!” and took them (with her permission). So their roots were mangled and exposed to a bunch of frosts for several days before I picked them up and schlepped them over and planted them.

I’m in zone 7b, and we had one night that dipped down to 7a this year, so I think they probably aren’t nearly as cold hardy as my brussels sprouts, which overwintered just fine without protection. Still, they did overwinter, and their roots were in terrible shape when I planted them a few weeks before snow started coming! That in and of itself may make for some promising progeny.

Yeah, this is very fun. I’m all aboard this train. There are ample kale grexes. Their is the Ultracross Collards project via Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (that I have seeds from). I am planning on growing out lots of collards, sprouting broccolis, and a few new kales this year so it would be quite fun to cross them all. Let the madness commence.

I’d love this. They all reseed prolifically in my garden and grow feral around the edges. I currently grow mostly kales and collards (things for leaves) but can’t promise that a little broccoli or brussels sprout pollen doesn’t sneak into my mix occasionally.

Yum! I’m totally on board with Brassica oleracea that’s tasty and reseeding prolifically and growing feral.

Hello. In my quick perusal it looks like ya’ll are in much cooler climates than i am. I am in south Texas. My winters are like a lot of summers in some places. I have some seeds from some Waltham 29 broccoli that i grew last year. Our second hottest , driest, with some pretty cold spells thrown in for good measure, seeds. I am happy to share some of them and try some of yours to see how they handle the crazy weather here in San Antonio, Texas.

I’m in zone 7b, so I’m only a little bit cooler than you. I live in Provo, Utah, so our climates may be very similar in summer. 90-100 degree temperatures at 0% humidity with pretty much zero rainfall for four to five months straight here. You?

We had record breaking 110 days. In the first half of this month we have surpassed the entire amount of rain we had in all of last year. We are almost always high humidity no matter what. Stuff that survived the snowdemic died this past winter with the freeze due to the exterme conditions we had through out the year. I am very happy to have gotten my broccoli to seed for me. I also have 2 cabbage that i started last year and am working on getting them to seed.
I just took out my Brussels sprouts cause they were just being huge pest magnets and never produced any viable sprouts. I am new to gardening in general and landrace especially. I read that growing in different climates should be beneficial for adding strength to the gene pool. I am working on getting seed from everything I am growing. My gardening style is benign neglect. I volunteer at the Children’s Vegetable Garden at our Botanical Garden here. My desire is to learn as much as i possibly can in an easily digestable way. Since i discovered landrace gardening it seems that what i am learning from the master gardeners is in conflict. “Tomatoes need babying with blankets, plants shouldn’t go to seed cause it attracts pests…” " Starting seeds requires $1000 lighting set up, fans, sterile soil, prayers and sacrifices." Landrace is so much easier, natural, and freeing. After i read the book i took all my seeds and mixed them up by basic types. I am so very excited to get my own localized landrace going!


Fun fact. We spend a great deal of time at 90 to 100 degree humidity. My son says we live in a swimming pool! :man_swimming:

Yeek! It sounds like your summers are a lot like Hong Kong, where I lived as a teenager, then. August in Hong Kong felt like breathing in hot, stifling soup. I love living in a desert where the air usually has no humidity whatsoever. My lungs do so much better here.

I like the name reckless Oleracea! I have a bunch of seeds from my initial grow out, but I forgot to label most of my brassica seeds. Plan is to plant a patch of each bag later in the summer/fall.

I’m winnowing my kohlrabi x brussels sprouts seeds TODAY! :smiley:

I got probably about 1,000 seeds from each plant, and I had three plants. So that’s enough for me to keep a generous quantity and also share a lot to this year’s seed packets!

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@UnicornEmily Sweet, I just harvested my broccol-ish seeds as well. Some, probably a lot had already shattered or been eaten by LBBs, little blue birds. But I have more than enough. I saved:
Kale-like but better flavor - 2 plants
Cabbage like with purple leaves red veins, most delicious of all - 1 plant
All mix - estimated 30 plants

I did not save anywhere near all of them, most are just scattered to see how far they have gotten on the path to becoming feral, the ultimate goal.

Although I let a lot just get lost as they would, I saved plenty of seeds to add into the seed swap package at end of season.

Here, assuming it works is a little video I made of some odd broccil-ish that showed up.

It also applies a bit to this topic. How to prepare soil - #13 by markwkidd

I hope this sort of post is OK here.