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Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  FamilyGardening on 8/23/2011, 6:07 pm

thanks for the pic's Boffer Very Happy

my seedlings are still small sprouts.....i will look around and see if i can find some bigger ones Shocked at the store.....

i still want to play though....What a Face

hugs

rose.....off to baby her broc's and find some siblings Laughing

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  llama momma on 8/23/2011, 6:12 pm

Welcome Squat Johnson, Moswell, and Rose!



This makes 12 of us, we are the Dirty Dozen hah! so far who are willing to share and compete. I would urge everyone to read up on info from this site on broccoli and also your local cooperative extension service and see if you can find any growing hints for your particular area. With all of our individual growing variables, as we help each other we are certainly helping ourselves. Good luck and let's grow some monsters!



I was able to pick up 12 broccoli transplants today, I am so happy. Plan to get them in Mel's mix right away. Also preparing the Bt and buying tulle tomorrow to minimize the bug battle.



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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  littlesapphire on 8/23/2011, 7:44 pm

I've driven by my favorite nursery a couple of times in the last week, but they don't appear to be open any more Sad I'm going to give them a call tomorrow, as well as a couple other places, but I really don't know if I'll find any broccoli plants.

I did, however, get a park seed catalog today. You can order a 6 pack of broccoli for something like $13 Shocked but I figured that was too rich for my blood.

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  llama momma on 8/23/2011, 7:53 pm

Oh no, 13 dollars for a six pack is about twice as much for what I paid for 12 transplants. Hmmmm

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  AprilakaCCIL on 8/23/2011, 10:29 pm

Well I'll be darn!!! I went to move 4 of my broccoli plants from four squares to the other end of the bed...Not long after I found the poor things swiveled up (dead). What a Face Such a sad morning. Embarassed I still have a few more thriving (as long as I leave em' be) Laughing Not really positive on when I measure and how to measure. I never grown broccoli before. I'm going to place some new seeds in the other remaining squares-- so I'm in on the second round of this challenge if we have one. Hope they don't bolt b/c of the heat--not that I know what bolting means, but I read up on it. Pretty sure I don't want mine to bolt, but if they do, then I'd just plant more seeds as I grumble (lol).

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  llama momma on 8/24/2011, 6:35 am







Signs that broccoli is ready to harvest


Broccoli planting and harvesting is sometimes a bit tricky, but there are a few signs you can look for that will tell you if your broccoli is ready to be harvested.

Has a Head - The first sign as to when to harvest broccoli is the most obvious. You have to have the initial head. The head should be firm and tight.

Head Size - The broccoli head typically will get to be 4 to 7 inches wide when it is time to harvest broccoli. But do not go on size alone. Size is an indicator, but be sure to look at the other signs as well.

Floret Size – The size of the individual florets or flower buds are the most reliable indicator. When the florets on the outside edge of the head get to be the size of the head of a match, then you can start harvesting broccoli from that plant.

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Color - When looking for signs of when to pick broccoli, pay close attention to the color of the florets. They should be a deep green. If you see even a hint of yellow, the florets are starting to bloom or bolt. Harvest the broccoli immediately if this happens.

How to harvest broccoli


When your broccoli head is ready to harvest, use a sharp knife and cut the head of the broccoli off the plant. You should cut the broccoli head stem 5 inches or more below the head. Cut the head off with a swift cut. Try to avoid sawing at the stem as this could cause unnecessary damage to the plant and ruin your chances for side harvesting later.

After you have harvested the main head, you can continue to harvest the side shoots from the broccoli. These will grow like tiny heads to the side of where the main head was. By looking at the size of the florets, you can tell when these side shoots are ready for harvest. Simply cut them off as they become ready.

Now that you know how to harvest broccoli, you can cut the heads off your broccoli with confidence. Proper broccoli planting and harvesting can put this tasty and nutritious vegetable on your table straight out of your garden.



AprilakaCCIL ---I copied and pasted this brief article with you in mind and and for anyone else too! and it adresses bolting too. That is why I advised to measure diameter before the buds turn yellow as the color indicates it is about to bolt with flowers and be useless for eating. Hope this helps! Smile There are lots of broccoli articles you can google over to. Perhaps ask your nearest nursery how long seedlings will take to mature in your zone7b. I straddle zone 5a and b.

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  moswell on 8/24/2011, 8:59 am

@Squat_Johnson wrote:In this area, we have _many_ different types of moths that can smell broccoli and cabbage. They have very tiny green caterpillars that are very hungry.

If you ever see small white or yellow cabbage moths or butterflies, these are the ones that I see most of the time.
http://www.google.com/search?q=cabbage+butterfly

Aha - yes, those little moths are familiar. Down to the store to buy some BT I will go!

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  AprilakaCCIL on 8/24/2011, 9:06 am

Thank you llama momma for the brief article. Very helpful. Very Happy

Here is the Broccoli this morning. The ones that were basically lying on the ground, after I moved them, are now standing up alive again! They did look dead to me -- LOL! I need to get rid of a few plants that are too many for one of the squares. I think there is three by mistake--when a square can only have one broccoli plant per square. Very Happy


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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  llama momma on 8/24/2011, 1:17 pm

Your Wecome APRILAKACCIL, Re: the article above -



Thats funny you thought they were dead. Maybe rain/wind blew them over..

They look wonderful and happy and yes, gently lift and plant one per square. When they are mature you will look down and probably won't see any Mels Mix, it will be nearly all filled in with leaves and heads.

Remember if you want to battle with potential worms: cover with tulle (bridal veil) or floating row cover, and Bt, also marketed as DiPel. Another is ? well I forget at the moment.



I bought tulle this morning at 75 cents a sq yrd from JoAnnFabrics.

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  littlesapphire on 8/24/2011, 2:38 pm

Well, looks like I can't play. I called around today and none of the nurseries (that are still open) have any veggie transplants. But I'm going to grow something from the brassica family, darn it! I found some seeds on Burpee for something called a Toy Choi! 5 inch tall Chinese cabbages that grow in 35-40 days when direct seeded cheers

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  madnicmom on 8/24/2011, 2:40 pm

now that is determination, Littlesapphire!! You go girl!!!!

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  Josh on 8/24/2011, 5:22 pm

Ladies watch out for Boffer!

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  llama momma on 8/24/2011, 9:22 pm

You are right Josh, he has 75 squares of broccoli contenders! But I honestly think any of us can win this thing. It should be interesting!



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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  FamilyGardening on 8/25/2011, 2:00 pm

april.....my brocs that i transplanted from seedlings i grew early this last spring....looked like they were dieing as well.....i almost pulled them up but decided to wait and see.....they looked awful for awhile....yet....they turned out wonderful!!....not sure why they looked so whimpy at first....as time went on...they got thicker and stronger....Very Happy...we got between 6 to 8 inch heads on them!...and they were yummy!

hugs

rose

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  AprilakaCCIL on 8/29/2011, 11:39 am

@FamilyGardening wrote:april.....my brocs that i transplanted from seedlings i grew early this last spring....looked like they were dieing as well.....i almost pulled them up but decided to wait and see.....they looked awful for awhile....yet....they turned out wonderful!!....not sure why they looked so whimpy at first....as time went on...they got thicker and stronger....Very Happy...we got between 6 to 8 inch heads on them!...and they were yummy!

hugs

rose

Now I'd say that's good to know right there!!! Wished I'd took pictures of how dead mine looked to compare to how they look now. I was so sure them broc's were a goner. Amazing how they just popped back up. Shocked

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  llama momma on 8/29/2011, 9:12 pm

Quick Broccoli Facts





Broccoli



  • Broccoli contains twice the vitamin C of an orange
  • It has almost as much calcium as whole milk--and the calcium is better absorbed
  • It contains selenium, a mineral that has been found to have anti-cancer and anti-viral properties
  • Broccoli is a modest source of vitamin A and alpha-tocopherol vitamin E
  • It also has antioxidant properties

Square Foot Gardeners, All of this, Right in our own backyards !

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  WolfHeart on 8/29/2011, 9:46 pm

I would like to join this fun cheers

I just planted six green magic and am ready to go.

And I can keep up to date with everything now that I am back on my regular second shift schedule cheers

I look forward to seeing how big my Brassica will get Laughing

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  shannon1 on 8/30/2011, 12:49 am

@llama momma wrote:
I was able to pick up 12 broccoli transplants today, I am so happy. Plan to get them in Mel's mix right away. Also preparing the Bt and buying tulle tomorrow to minimize the bug battle.
LlamaMomma
you are one smart Mamma. I'm growing Purple sprouting broccoli this fall so unless your judging by hight that lets me out. I will be watching and enjoying the show.

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  llama momma on 8/30/2011, 4:47 am

Welcome WolfHeart - and good luck with your "Green Magic" broccs! I have heard of most of the other varieties. Your variety is new to me, I will be watching yours since I've been stuck on "Premium Crop" both Fall seasons.

Welcome also Shannon- your "Purple Sprouting Brocc" sounds interesting, I didn't know brocc came in that color. Thought only kale came in a purple variety.

I am excited for you and curious about the taste of purple brocc, have you tasted this before? Also, we are measuring the diameter of the mature heads before they bolt, so try to measure before any of the buds turn yellow.

Best wishes to both of you !!! I hope Everyone feels free to share pictures of their progress!

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  gwennifer on 9/1/2011, 3:02 am

Well since you asked for pictures of our progress, here's my six broccoli plants. These were transplanted exactly four weeks ago. I'd be happy they were so large now, if I wasn't worried they are simply not going to fit. They are flopping all over the place and having no respect for their neighbor squares:





And actually I went back out there a few hours after taking the photos, and the plant on the bottom right had completely fallen over. Not sure what to do with it. I couldn't exactly mound dirt around it and firm it in place. Anybody else have this problem?

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  FamilyGardening on 9/1/2011, 3:41 am

Shocked

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  llama momma on 9/1/2011, 5:04 am

Gwennifer,

Beautiful picture Gwennifer!

From your photo it looks like you used Mel's Mix, right? Several times in the All New S F Gardening book Mel mentions how soft Mel's mix is, and if a plant blows over you simply push it back down into the mix and give it a drink of (ideal) sun warmed water. Some personal thoughts -- I am thinking the addition of warm water encourages root and root hair growth that might have been disturbed to minimize shock to the plant. Mel mentions sun warmed water several times in the book as a good thing to do all the time. I would try to look close at the stem and replant it to its prior depth as best as I could tell. Don't know how critical that is but its my personal suggestion to help your baby! Hope this helps!

Personal experience - my 6 foot corn stalks leaned over 45 degree angle, from 3 different wind storms. Used a broomstick to lean into the rows and stand them all back up. No harm done, the ears grew very nicely despite being blown around. (Next time I will use Mel's horizontal protection he describes in the book)

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  boffer on 9/1/2011, 10:26 am

@gwennifer wrote: Not sure what to do with it. I couldn't exactly mound dirt around it and firm it in place. Anybody else have this problem?
Hey, those are pretty good size already.

When I transplant broccoli, I pull off the cotyledons and bury the seedling up to the first true leaves. When I direct seed, I will sometimes pull off the cotyledons and mound MM around the stem to up the first true leaves. Sometimes a ¼ inch stick that is stuck in the MM for the seedling to lean against is all the help the plant needs to start growing straight.

Truth is, a broccoli plant that lays over and gets a dog leg in the stem near the soil will still produce, but it just doesn't look 'nice'. Brussel sprouts are also bad about falling over and getting dog legs, but they will still grow 3-4 feet tall.

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

Post  gwennifer on 9/1/2011, 2:25 pm

Thanks everyone.

Yes, they grew fast! Remember I chose them because the tag said "vigorous"? Accurate so far. If you look at the picture, you can barely see on the right hand side of my box three squares of cauliflower that I direct sowed. They sprouted the same day I transplanted the broccoli. Hard to believe the broccoli transplants were even smaller than those are now.

With hindsight, I figured I should have buried the transplants deeper than they came. Indeed all six of them are dog-legged! You can see one quite clearly in the pic. Chalk that one up to learning experience; that's going in my garden journal. Hey, I wouldn't have known a broccoli plant from a geranium five weeks ago, so I'm making progress!

I do remember the sun-warmed water bit. I've been keeping my watering can full to use on them. I've been afraid to go out and look at teh poor guy today...

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Look out for pests

Post  gwennifer on 9/1/2011, 2:28 pm

For those learning like me, if you notice your leaves are curling funny, be sure to look inside:



I'm told they are aphids and I've got to go wash them off today. *shudder*

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Re: Fall Contest - Show us your Biggest Brassica, Broccoli!

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