why is my broccoli so bitter?

sarahlynnwhiteJuly 14, 2007

Hello. I can never seem to get broccoli that isn't terribly bitter. Could I be picking it too early? but when I wait it goes to flower (I guess I wait too long). I love to eat raw broccoli and from the garden that always seems to be a bitter nightmare. Is there a sweetier variety I could grow? I hate the fact that I enjoy broccoli bought at the grocery better than what I have in the garden!! I really want to fix this problem or I will have to give up on growing broccoli all together. I have started some for the fall harvest, could our hot weather be to blame for this bitterness and the fall crop will have a better taste? Thanks for any tips you may have. Sarah

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Yes, heat is one of the reasons that some veggies. develop bitter taste. Watering frequently may help.Cucumber is another example.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 3:53PM
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lelia(Northern Cal)

I grew broccoli over the winter here in the San Francisco bay area, and I couldn't believe how much better it was than grocery store broccoli.... very sweet and fresh tasting, without the woodiness and turnip flavor. When it began to pop a few yellow flowers, though, it was awful. I definitely think temperature has a big part in it.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 4:47PM
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Sarah, with cool season crops that turn out bitter in the summer try planting them in summer and counting backwards (use the days to maturity on the seed packet) from the first frost to find the planting date.

This way the plants grow vigorously in the summer heat, but mature in cooling rather than in warming weather and usually taste much, much better.

Heat is the enemy of cool season crops, they do tend to get woody/bitter and not particularly appetizing.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 7:31PM
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ruthieg__tx(z8 TX)

I think a little cold temps does make it tastier...I can't grow those things in our usual spring...just gets too hot too early but I love to do them in the fall.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 7:54PM
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tonight i was eating one of my bitter broccoli heads and as i was breaking the florets off and popping them into my mouth something caught my eye. it was a green caterpiller in the center of my broccoli (dead of course). that ended that little snack. YUCK! sarah

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 9:13PM
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lelia(Northern Cal)

I should also add that when my broccoli florets were at the bitter stage, the peeled stems were still delish. In fact, I prefer peeled stems to florets, and when you grow your own you have lots more stem than the trimmed heads in the store.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 9:49PM
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Mine turned bitter too in NC once it got hot.

For a couple of weeks the di cicco broccoli was delicious, but then it got up into the 90Âs here and they started to flower. The side shoots (little floretes that form once the main flower is cut off) became bitter fast too.

Wow the taste of bitter broccoli is indescribably bad. It stays in your mouth after you rinse it out with water a few times even. LOL

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 9:55AM
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By bitter, do you guys mean your broccoli has a metallic taste to it? I always thought that taste was caused by too much pesticide on the broccoli. Its strange because sometimes you'll buy one without that taste, and its just a delicious head of broccoli with no metallic aftertaste.

Is there any way to tell short of a taste test?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 4:46PM
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