What I really need to know is how to tell when it is ready for picking. Like all Broccoli, I know that the correct thing to do is cut the main head first, to stimulate the production of side-shoots. But how big do I let the main head get? Is this anywhere near big enough yet?
To me, it doesn't look very big. Nowhere near as big as the heads you see on sale in the shops, that's for sure. However, it does look as if the flowers are getting ready to open, which is generally a sign of maturity. My concern is that the plant itself doesn't look mature. It is about 50cm tall, and still quite slender:
Here's a wider view:
I bet that head would be lovely to eat, but I'd need about six to make a serving! The other plants, although about the same size, have much smaller main heads.
Can anyone provide me with advice on this please? To pick or not to pick?
While I had the net pulled back to take these photographs, I had a close look at the Broccoli plant that was attacked by the root maggots. It seems to have recovered - presumably because the nematodes I applied successful eliminated the maggots, allowing the roots to re-establish.
In comparison with its siblings this plant is understandably very small (extreme left of photo below), but this might turn out to be a good thing because it may mature later and thus help with extending the cropping period.
|The 2 big plants in the middle are Brussels Sprouts, the others are Broccoli|
The Brussels Sprout plants are getting fairly tall now, and it won't be long before I need to raise the netting. I'm prepared for this though, and I have got some taller poles ready and waiting. I also plan to provide them with support by tying them to stout wooden stakes. This will be all the more necessary this year because we seem to be getting a lot more strong winds than normal.