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Broccoli, ready for harvest?

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Broccoli, ready for harvest? Empty Broccoli, ready for harvest?

Post  LentilSoup on 5/13/2011, 9:32 am

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, ready for harvest? 5715446059_a18dddee33
Broccoli - Gypsy by sgstarling, on Flickr
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Post  Squat_Johnson on 5/13/2011, 10:16 am

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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Post  staf74 on 5/13/2011, 10:40 am

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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Post  ashort on 5/13/2011, 5:08 pm

Oh yeah, harvest that sucker....
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 5/13/2011, 5:28 pm

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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Post  Smartchick on 5/13/2011, 5:39 pm

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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Post  jazzymaddy on 5/14/2011, 12:41 am

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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Post  LentilSoup on 5/14/2011, 7:58 am

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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Post  staf74 on 5/14/2011, 10:09 am

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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Post  quiltbea on 5/14/2011, 10:37 am

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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Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 5/14/2011, 11:11 am

@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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Post  LentilSoup on 5/14/2011, 11:13 am

@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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Post  Lavender Debs on 5/14/2011, 11:21 am

@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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Post  WolfHeart on 6/8/2011, 7:22 am

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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Post  quiltbea on 6/8/2011, 8:30 am

Sometimes you only get a small head due to weather.

This is one of mine....
Broccoli, ready for harvest? 06-07-17
Its a DiCicco and the largest of the ones I planted.

This is a later planting.
Broccoli, ready for harvest? 06-07-18
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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Post  WendySue67 on 6/16/2011, 4:44 pm

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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Post  Furbalsmom on 6/16/2011, 4:52 pm

Wendy, did you rinse and refrigerate the broccoli, that should help restore it to crisp.
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Post  WendySue67 on 6/16/2011, 5:33 pm

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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Post  boffer on 6/16/2011, 7:23 pm

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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Post  quiltbea on 6/16/2011, 7:41 pm

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.

Broccoli, ready for harvest? 06-13-10
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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Post  Lavender Debs on 6/16/2011, 7:51 pm

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