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Hurry up broccoli...

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Hurry up broccoli...

Post  altagarden on 7/1/2011, 10:59 pm

My broccoli is looking lovely, the stem is very narrow compared to those in the store, but it has heads forming about the size of a quarter.

How long will I have to wait until they are ready to eat? A week? A month? Two days? We have nice warm, sunny weather if that makes any difference.
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Re: Hurry up broccoli...

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 7/1/2011, 11:28 pm

Congrats on the broccoli. Keep an eye on them now. I wait until the heads start to "loosen" a bit. You'll notice when that is. You just don't want them to really burst open and flower (yellow). Harvesting will likely be dictated by your local weather. It may be a couple weeks, it may be much faster. Make sure you get a look at them daily, especially if you get a heat wave.

Hopefully, someone will post some pics to help you out. I've seen some good examples here a short while back.
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Re: Hurry up broccoli...

Post  HouseofWool on 7/2/2011, 10:31 pm

I am so excited to be harvesting broccoli for the first time this year. We just got back today from week long vacation. When I left, one head of broccoli was just a bit larger than a golf ball and I was sure that it would bloom while we were gone.

The last few days have seen extremely high temps (over 100 - which NEVER happens this early in the year) so I was not very hopeful about what I would see upon my return.

I was thrilled to see that the head is now about 8" across and hasn't really loosened up at all, so I will pick it for dinner tomorrow.

There was an added bonus because the plant adjacent to it is putting up a new head to replace the one that my toddler yanked out. (YUMMM bockee momma! Thankfully, she is cute.)

I will be trimming back the blossoms that crept up on the other two plants to see if I can get some small heads off of them.

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Re: Hurry up broccoli...

Post  boffer on 7/3/2011, 12:03 am

@HouseofWool wrote:...I was thrilled to see that the head is now about 8" across and hasn't really loosened up at all, so I will pick it for dinner tomorrow...

golly gee whiz

Good for you! I planted a whole lot of broccoli this spring, and the biggest head was 4". Most were 2-3 inches.

It's really a crap shoot for those of us who garden outside. If certain minimum or maximum temperatures are reached at certain times of the broccoli plant development, it will retard development of the main head. You lucked out this year!
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Re: Hurry up broccoli...

Post  HouseofWool on 7/3/2011, 4:37 pm

I'm beginning to think that most of gardening is a crap shoot. Yes, you can have great soil, but if the weather doesn't cooperate, there isn't much you can do about it.

We had an unusually cool spring, barely reaching 70ish by the middle of June. Then, while we were on vacation, the temps shot up to 100 degrees! We usually only get a few days of that in August, only very rarely in June. I don't know if it was the huge increase in temps that pushed the broccoli to do its thing.

I see a couple of more small florets forming on the plant I just harvested and I will pick those in a few days.

I think I will be starting these from see though next year, as they were pretty pricy from transplants given the small yield.

I do have some cauliflower growing in the next bed that hasn't done a thing.

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Re: Hurry up broccoli...

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 7/3/2011, 6:39 pm

I don't think you'll hear much arguing if you take the "gardening is a crapshoot" angle. Weather, pests, fungi, etc all aim to take you down. Sometimes Mother Nature wins, sometimes you do. One thing is for sure.....nothing goes according to plan in any given year.

That's why I like it. Things always change. Very little chance for me to get bored with things.
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