broccoli ready to pick?

tracymo(5)June 1, 2010

Here is a link to some pictures of some of my broccoli heads. None of them are over a couple of inches in diameter. The broccoli was not starting to head when I left town on 21 May, but when I got back yesterday, they were being eaten by cabbage loopers (which I hand-picked, then sprayed with Bt), and the heads were as they now appear.

I'm thinking it's kind of early for broccoli, but I've never grown it, so I'm not quite sure what I'm looking for.

Tracy

Here is a link that might be useful: link to photos of broccoli

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
backyardening

My broccoli almost never gets as large as you find in the grocery store, so you can't go by size alone.
A good way to tell when it's ready to pick is to look very closely at the color of the outside edge of the head. If you see any yellow at all, thats a sign that the florets are getting ready to bloom. If you see that, cut it immediately.
We've had a unusually warm spring here in IL, and my broccoli didn't get much bigger than my fist before it started to flower, so I had to go ahead and pick it. It was small, but delicious!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 12:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
joe-il(5)

same here backyard. Thats ok fall time is when we get the big heads any ways. Ill take the warm spring anytime.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 7:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I'd leave those in your pictures. They will get at least 3 times that size. In my garden mine are still doing fine and substantially larger than yours so I would think in your zone you still have a good deal of growing time left.

Air temps will limit how long you can leave them to grow but once you begin to see a hint of yellow on the head it is time to harvest.

Dave

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 10:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nygardener(z6 New York)

This article has some useful rules of thumb.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 12:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bsntech(5b)

What parts are you in Joe-il and backyardening? I'm in IL as well - Central IL. The seven broccoli plants I have are doing very well - and it has been in the mid-to-high-80's for the past couple of weeks. It has been a nice cool-down today after all of the stormy weather we had overnight.

You can see a picture of the size of my broccoli on my site. They just started putting on the heads about two weeks ago.

Here is a link that might be useful: BsnTech Gardening Blog

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 3:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tracymo(5)

Dave,

So you don't think it's too yellow? Since this is the first time I've planted broccoli that wasn't hit by cutworms, I wasn't sure.

nygardener,

I have read articles but wasn't too sure how MY brocs matched up.

BsnTech,

Thanks! It helps to look at more photos.

Tracy

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 7:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

Tracy,
I think that I would pick those heads now. To me, they look like they are not going to get bigger and would only get less tender if they haven't already done so.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 9:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tracymo(5)

Oy. Maybe I better pick some and leave some, do you think?

I'll go and take another picture, today, to compare with those from yesterday, before deciding.

Tracy

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 9:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cyrus_gardner(8)

They look like still growing, to me.
You will know if they are getting ready to bolt. Besides getting yellow, the floretts will also change shape/size.So this thing is not going to take place overnight. You knot that brocs are very slow growing.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 1:02AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tracymo(5)

Ok, well I took some pictures, last night, and they still look the same, or just a bit bigger, so I'm just going to watch them for now.

Tracy

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 7:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Dave, So you don't think it's too yellow?

No I don't see any yellow in your pics. I see spring green new growth that will turn darker green as it develops but no yellow yet.

Dave

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 9:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
grandad_2003(9A/sunset 28)

I agree with Wayne. Meaning, I think I'd pick some of those heads, even thought they are small. I'd pick the ones showing signs of bud separation.

Tracy, I've usually get smaller heads on the OP broccoli cultivars, particularly Decicco. Green Goliath is the only OP cultivar that does well for me. So what cultivar did you plant? Sub-optimal growing conditions can also impact head size. Too much rain in October & November 2009 resulted in my 2009 Fall broccoli having much smaller heads.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 9:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

I'm getting huge heads. The bugs don't bother spring plantings here. To me the broccoli is more succulent before bead enlargement.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 4:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tracymo(5)

Thanks, Dave. I took more pictures last night, and looked at the brocs again this evening, and I agree about the light green vs. yellow. I'll leave them. The middle one is definitely getting bigger. I'll just check them every day to make sure they aren't opening.

Grandad, I planted Premium Crop. I also planted Windsor elsewhere, but the Windsor just today started to show heads.

I'll keep an eye on things, for now.

Tracy

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 9:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
grandad_2003(9A/sunset 28)

tracymo, Premium Crop has been a great producer for me. I have not tried Windsor. Premium Crop usually produces very large heads. As I noted above, last Fall my broccoli heads were much smaller, due to poor growing conditions. One other factor that has impacted broccoli head size is timing. Our Fall season calls for setting out broccoli plants in Septermber. I sometimes push this into October & November. Plants set out from mid-October to November grow very slowly and are much smaller. The size of the heads is generally in proportion to the size of the plant. So the smaller plants, due to poor growing conditions or timing, provide an advance warning of smaller heads sizes.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 8:46AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Garden Huckleberry
Hey folks, I thought Id mention a new crop which we...
macmex
Different greens?
My mother has been fighting cancer for a year now,...
appalachi
Looking for Artichoke Plant Enthusiasts
I have eight years experience growing artichoke plants...
Pond Plant Girl
Garden row orientation: east-west, or north-south?
I'm wondering if there is any benefit to orientating...
nick_b79
Greenland Gardener Raised Garden Kit
Picked up 2 of these from Walmart yesterday to grow...
onkloudnyne
Sponsored Products
Modern Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug: World Rug Gallery Rugs Manor House Cream
$86.97 | Home Depot
Antique Cream Versailles Frame
$14.99 | zulily
Gardeners Gadgets Quick Corners for Raised Garden Beds - Classic - Set of 4 - QC
$81.00 | Hayneedle
Cats 23.5 Inch Touch Lamp
$51.95 | Bellacor
Radionic Hi Tech Inc. ES-CA03-WW Eco 4 in. Aluminum LED Linkable Under Cabinet L
$29.81 | Hayneedle
Lagoon All-Weather Wicker Hanalei Armchair, Set of 2
Cost Plus World Market
'Southern Talk' Personalized Canvas Wall Art
$31.99 | zulily
King Palmer Duvet Cover 110" x 96" - SLICKER YELLOW
$259.90 | Horchow
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™