14 April 2009

Broccoli

It's always interesting when you discover how little you know about plants, or when a plant does something totally unexpected, but after it happens, it makes complete sense. This is the first time I've grown broccoli, so I've been watching it, wondering when it's time to harvest. Everything I read said to do it while the heads were compact, firm, etc. (But no book prepared me for what I saw when I returned.) That's what they were when we went away for a few days last week, but when we gat back, they were on their way to something completely new to me.

Soon after we got home, I took a walk through the yard, checking on plants, fish, etc. I noticed a couple of broccoli heads were loosening up and I figured I missed my window for harvesting those plants. It wasn't until the next morning that I noticed the flowers. Did you know that each little, tiny bud in a head of broccoli will flower? I had no idea! Actually, it makes perfect sense, but I never considered it.

So, I won't be getting as much broccoli from the garden as I planned, but it was definitely a learning experience. I'll be planting broccoli again this fall and I'll plan to harvest sooner to avoid the flowers. My wife and I were talking about how little of it we got from all of our plants this spring. I think when we plant in the fall, we'll plant lots more, spreading some of it around in the landscape.

1 comment:

Jenion Tyson said...

We're growing broccoli again this fall. The plants in the raised bed full of compost are huge and the ones in the yard are just so-so. I don't think I'll have to worry about them bolting, as long as there's no hot weather.

We may not grow it again - I don't want to plant anything we don't eat and I don't think we'll eat much broccoli.