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Broccoli, ready for harvest?

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Broccoli, ready for harvest?

Post  LentilSoup on Fri 13 May 2011 - 6:32

Ok, I really can’t tell, is this broccoli ready to harvest? Or maybe even a bit too late? The blossom / head is about 5 inches in diameter, I was expecting it to get much larger. But then maybe it depends on the variety?


Broccoli - Gypsy by sgstarling, on Flickr
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Re: Broccoli, ready for harvest?

Post  Squat_Johnson on Fri 13 May 2011 - 7:16

When the heads start to get "loose" I cut them. If you give them a couple more days, you will see them turning yellow, and after a few more you will see blooms.

Mine are maturing early as well. I might be eating some this weekend.
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Re: Broccoli, ready for harvest?

Post  staf74 on Fri 13 May 2011 - 7:40

Lentilsoup,

I would go ahead and harvest that. Its not going to get any bigger. It will continue to elongate and "loosen" as Squat rightly says. Flowering is imminent. You should get some nice secondary heads form though. My Broccoli has had some remarkable secondary heads. They grow soooo fast also. The weather plays more of a part in when it begins flowering I have found. Varieties are bred to form thicker heads etc but in the end, it is just doing what all Broccoli and veggies instinctively do : reproduce.
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Re: Broccoli, ready for harvest?

Post  ashort on Fri 13 May 2011 - 14:08

Oh yeah, harvest that sucker....
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Re: Broccoli, ready for harvest?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on Fri 13 May 2011 - 14:28

Dana Carvey, or Adam Sandler, I can't remember which used to sing a song for you....

Choppin' broccoli.....Choppin' broccoli...
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Re: Broccoli, ready for harvest?

Post  Smartchick on Fri 13 May 2011 - 14:39

Harvest! I missed out on one head my first year as was expecting my broccoli to get as thick as the grocery store ones do - I woke up one morning to the prettiest yellow bouquet you ever did see. Very Happy Now I know that is not necessarily the case...
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Re: Broccoli, ready for harvest?

Post  jazzymaddy on Fri 13 May 2011 - 21:41

She chop... grunt.

Dana Carvey. I quote that often. And I can't wait to chop my own broccoli. I will be that lady.

http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/920731/

So what does it look like when flowering is imminent? How will I know that moment has arrived?
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Re: Broccoli, ready for harvest?

Post  LentilSoup on Sat 14 May 2011 - 4:58

Harvested! I ate a couple pieces raw. Still very nice tasting! Sweet and juicy. The stalk was not as sweet, but still very nice. Broccoli is definitely going to be a vege I want to grow much more of, when I expand my garden (it's one square per plant afterall, and I only have the one 4x4 SFG). There’s one side shoot growing on the plant. I'll leave it and see what happens in the next week.

I have some more of this broccoli growing in the front bed, it's really a perennial bed, not as much sun as my SFG vege garden. These front yard broccoli are MUCH smaller. I think I'll let at least a couple blossom completely, then post a pic.
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Re: Broccoli, ready for harvest?

Post  staf74 on Sat 14 May 2011 - 7:09

How will I know that moment has arrived?

Check the head regularly, like in the morning AND evening. You will notice the tight head loosen and stretch upwards. If you check closely, the individual green buds will begin to swell. Then one or two will open first. That's about as late as you can leave it. Just a couple more days and the whole thing becomes a quite stunning mass of yellow flowers.
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Re: Broccoli, ready for harvest?

Post  quiltbea on Sat 14 May 2011 - 7:37

Broccoli can start to go to seed for various reasons so sometimes you'll have smaller heads.

Its a good idea to soak heads in warm water 15 mins with a little vinegar added before cooking to get rid of loopers and worms that may be hiding in the heads.
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Re: Broccoli, ready for harvest?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on Sat 14 May 2011 - 8:11

@jazzymaddy wrote:She chop... grunt.

My 6 year old was dying when he did that part. He demanded to watch the vid three more times. Thanks so much for sharing. I was laughing like I did back then...again. Now, my Saturday will rock!

I keep waiting for my heads to form, too. Should be any day now, and I'll be.....

Choppahbrocolaylaylaylaylay...heeee heeeeeeeeeeeeee!
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Re: Broccoli, ready for harvest?

Post  LentilSoup on Sat 14 May 2011 - 8:13

@quiltbea wrote:Its a good idea to soak heads in warm water 15 mins with a little vinegar added before cooking to get rid of loopers and worms that may be hiding in the heads.

Thanks for that tip! I'm writing that one in my garden journal!
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Re: Broccoli, ready for harvest?

Post  Lavender Debs on Sat 14 May 2011 - 8:21

@LentilSoup wrote:
@quiltbea wrote:Its a good idea to soak heads in warm water 15 mins with a little vinegar added before cooking to get rid of loopers and worms that may be hiding in the heads.

Thanks for that tip! I'm writing that one in my garden journal!
You should read everything Bea writes, lots of good help. See the link to her blog in her signature line? It is a good one.
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Re: Broccoli, ready for harvest?

Post  WolfHeart on Wed 8 Jun 2011 - 4:22

I am starting to realize why so many of you plant SO much broccoli! the little tiny head that I harvested this morning was about to turn into that pretty bunch of yellow flowers.

I really just thought that you all REALLY liked broccoli A LOT, but now I understand.

My wife and I are already planning our fall plantings and two more boxes for next year. One of which will have at least six broccoli, six Cauliflower and four squares of garden peas....I am pretty sure I am now obsessed with SFG! What a Face
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Re: Broccoli, ready for harvest?

Post  quiltbea on Wed 8 Jun 2011 - 5:30

Sometimes you only get a small head due to weather.

This is one of mine....

Its a DiCicco and the largest of the ones I planted.

This is a later planting.

Really tiny right now.

The good thing is that you can expect lots of tiny broccoli spears to pop up all around that open space after you cut the momma head. They make great salads.
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Re: Broccoli, ready for harvest?

Post  WendySue67 on Thu 16 Jun 2011 - 13:44

I harvested my broccoli (I think just in time, actually), brought it in and within about 30 minutes it was rubbery as could be. I expected it, although it was small, to be firm like the stuff in the store. Did I do something wrong?

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Re: Broccoli, ready for harvest?

Post  Furbalsmom on Thu 16 Jun 2011 - 13:52

Wendy, did you rinse and refrigerate the broccoli, that should help restore it to crisp.
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Re: Broccoli, ready for harvest?

Post  WendySue67 on Thu 16 Jun 2011 - 14:33

I did not rinse it, but I did put it right in the fridge. I just cut another small head, so I will try that with this one. I'm curious... how big do these heads usually get for everyone? I think I was expecting it to be way bigger than it will ever be and I left it to keep growing when it was actually done. (all have been about 3 inches in diameter)

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Re: Broccoli, ready for harvest?

Post  boffer on Thu 16 Jun 2011 - 16:23

Three inches seems to be typical for a lot of us. Nobody seems to be able to grow the big ones that the grocery store sells.

I planted 25 Packman and 25 Thompson this year. I had one 4 inch head; the rest have been 2-3 inches.

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Re: Broccoli, ready for harvest?

Post  quiltbea on Thu 16 Jun 2011 - 16:41

I had to harvest 3 of mine the other day due to our 90 plus days last week which made some of them look like they were ready to bolt.


There are actually 3 heads in this collander. Apollo, Packman and DiCicco. Two so small they are only babies but they were getting ready to bolt so I harvested. The largest one is about 5" across. I have a few others still out there. They were smaller when the heat arrived and now that we're back to cooler weather, I'm hoping they'll grow normally and make nice 4"-5" heads.

I've never had large heads like in the stores, but they sure are tastier.
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Re: Broccoli, ready for harvest?

Post  Lavender Debs on Thu 16 Jun 2011 - 16:51

I've noticed that often the "large heads" in the store have at least two, sometimes 3 stems.
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