Thursday, 10 February 2011

The Broccoli spruces itself up

The Sprouting Broccoli has decided to smarten itself up. The big old leaves that have been on the plants since last Summer have finally run out of energy, and are falling off the plants, their work done, and new leaves are taking their place ready to gather more energy from the Spring sunshine which we will hopefully get, so that the flowering "spears" will be big (and therefore more succulent!).


The old leaves, despite their tattiness, are quite photogenic in a grotesque sort of way.




In the next photo you can clearly see the transition from old to new happening...


I always pick up the fallen leaves and compost them, because leaving them where they fall would probably encourage the spread of fungal diseases, and provide a refuge for slugs.



Only a few more weeks until I can pick some broccoli. It will have been a long wait (about 10 months), but I expect it will be worth it...

11 comments:

  1. Mark, here in Delaware the broccoli has been devastated by the cold and wind. Suspect ours is a different kind. Will you get lots of side shoots? Can you or do you eat the young leaves as well. Envious about your soon to be broccoli. George

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  2. Hi George; I certainly hope I will get plenty of sideshoots. That is the bit we eat; we don't generally eat the leaves. Sounds like your Winter is much more severe than ours. We think ourselves hard done by if we get snow on the ground for 2 weeks or more!

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  3. Mark, my broccoli is still producing and has been now for a long time! I hope yours will be as enjoyable as mine has been! I could plant more for my Spring garden, but I need to keep these plants going as long as they produce. Good luck with yours!

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  4. Mark, do you mean that the broccoli has had one season (and produced spears) and is now getting ready for another one?

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  5. Ali asked my question. i always treat broccoli as an annual.

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  6. Ali, Hazel; my Sprouting Broccoli was sown last May in modules, planted out in July. I will probably be cropping the first of it in a few weeks' time. So it is a long-term Annual. You can get perennial types (e.g. Nine Star Perennial), but I have never grown them. You know my views on VSR: sprouting broccoli occupies the ground for a very long time, but I consider it to be worth it. I will also be growing various types of "Summer" broccoli, more akin to the Calabrese type, e.g. Tenderstem and Woc-Broc.

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  7. Egretta, you broccoli seems to have produced a huge harvest. You said you have frozen some didn't you? Do you find that broccoli that has been frozen is OK? Does it not go too soft?

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  8. I still try to find the best time to harvest my broccoli. I want to grow it as big as possible, but to harvest it before flowers open.

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  9. Mark - Those leaves look delicious to me after a long cold winter. The cole crops are all the same plant, just different cultivars. You can eat the leaves of broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, etc. Broccoli leaves are probably too highly flavored to eat raw, but I think would be great cooked for a long time such as collards. Your leaves certainly look great for a snitch.

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  10. Photogenic . . . ? Sort of . . .

    Esther

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