3 Broccoli Harvesting Tips 3 Broccoli Harvesting Tips
You have broccoli in your garden. Good show! But you are now wondering when you are going to get to eat it. Okay, lets see what we can tell you about broccoli. If you planted plants and not seeds you should see some maturing starting to happen in about 50 to 100 days, unless you started with seeds and then it will take a little longer. Broccoli will start to ripen when the heads are about 3 to 6 inches across. They are covered in green leaves and closed over like a Brussels sprout or a cabbage.
When to Look for a Harvest
After you get your heads maturing and they are in the proper measurements, they should stop opening up and showing the nice little florets that we love. When you go to harvest them, do so before the buds start to open up. Cut the heads off with a stalk about 4 to 6 inches extra on the end.
Caring for the Broccoli
After you cut the initial harvest in the heat of summer, offshoots will continue to grow and provide heads until after the first frost. They are good but will not give the full flavor of the broccoli grown in the hot sun. You may live in a climate that is warm year round. If this is the case the broccoli will most likely grow for most of the year. It can keep growing until it gets really cool even if it doesn't frost.
Do not over water broccoli because it will get root rot and/or snails. Take care of pests immediately because they love broccoli as much as cabbage.
Cutting the Head to Promote Growth
When you see the heads starting to develop the center head will be the one that is the largest and most mature. Cut it first. Once you cut it, the other heads will start to develop. Treat them the same way. Cut the largest or center one first and the side shoots will develop after that. The heads will have two harvests. One in the spring and one in the fall. The plant doesn't like to develop in the heat of the summer so just keep them watered and they start developing again once the weather cools down.