Friday, July 20, 2012

Broccoli Harvest

In an effort to grow worm-free broccoli this year (for the first time EVER . . . I'm hoping), I covered my broccoli bed with a hoop configuration and Agribon the way sweet Sue does over at Sue's Garden Journal. In the last couple of days, by peeking through the Agribon, I could see that several nice-sized heads of broccoli were wanting to be harvested.

Above is the bed in the process of shedding its Agribon cover.

Ta-dah! The broccoli plants uncovered! They looked really very healthy.

Out of the nine plants put in the bed, this one matured way ahead of the rest. Because it's not a simple job to unfasten the Agribon (and then secure it back over the bed again), I chose to sacrifice this head and let it flower without harvesting it.

I harvested five heads today. Of the nine original plants, one keeled over and died (of an unidentified cause) shortly after we covered the bed. There is the one that matured too early and five I harvested today. That leaves two heads that I decided were too small to harvest today. I'll watch them carefully and probably harvest them in a few days.

The heads are good-sized. A little bigger than my hand span.

So did I manage to grow the broccoli worm-free? Dunno yet. I have the five heads soaking in warm salt water right now . . . which should drive the worms out if there are any there.

I'll give you an update later. Stand by . . . (Ooooh, the suspense!!)

18 comments:

  1. I had 11 out of 12 heads that turned out beautiful, and NO WORMS/aphids/anything on them. I had one that bolted crazy early. I wonder why some are so far ahead of the rest? Anyways, glad it worked for you. Now get that fall crop planted--I did mine just the other day--sealed them in their little beds away from ---drumroll please--the grasshoppers. Oh, there's always SOMETHING trying to get the goodies in the garden.
    Have a wonderful weekend, Mama Pea!

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    1. Sue - We have grasshoppers, too! I have never seen so many. All sizes and shapes from teeny-tiny quarter inch long ones to ones big enough to knock ya over when they land on you. Geesh. I think it must be the hot weather.

      Planting my fall broccoli is on The List!

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  2. Oh, that Sue - she must secretly work for Agribon! She has us all doing this! Hope you find your crop worm free.

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    1. 2 Tramps - I think I remember hearing that Sue's maiden name was Agribon. Just sayin'.

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  3. So, what's the verdict? Are they worm free? Hope so because they are beautiful heads!!! Will you freeze them or what?

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    1. Karen L. - Follow-up post coming up! ;o}

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  4. Do I see Broccoli Raisin Bacon salad in your future?!

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    1. CR - Yep. And two other salads with fresh broccoli I've been waiting to try!

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  5. Wow! Those are some beautiful heads of broccoli you have there, Mama Pea. I have never had luck growing it, but then I must have been daydreaming through Sue's post about her mother's family busines - Agribon - teehee. I will try it this fall. Do you direct seed the broccoli or transplant? I hope you post about the worm/no-worm results soon - I may not be able to sleep tonight...

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    1. Susan - The broccoli plants (just harvested) were transplants I started inside early this spring. The fall crop I'm now going to try will be seeds direct seeded in the soil. Just put up a post about the worm/no worm results. Hope you got a little sleep last night wondering. ;o}

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  6. Suspense? Heck, I'm still getting over the fact that you grew those heads! I've never been able to successfully grow broccoli, so anyone who can make it look like that is a winner in my book. If you succeed without worms, then I think you deserve a crown!

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    1. Mama Tea - The crown goes to Sue because I couldn't have done it without her generous sharing the info about the Agribon!

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  7. Beautiful broccoli--mine isn't even forming heads yet. The cabbage worms are gross, but my family is okay with them. I'm not!! Seems no matter how long I soak, one or two of those little guys can hold his breath. Hope you get that loan. :)
    Rhonda

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  8. odiie - I know, I know! Before this, if I didn't find worms in the salt water, or the blanching water, it was on the plate. And I just cannot tolerate that!!

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  9. That is really gorgeous broccoli. Congrats!

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    1. JoyceP - Thanks! It really, really looks good to me since I've NEVER managed to grow any that has looked half that good!

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  10. That is definitely the trick, eh? My broccoli leaves always look like someone used them for shotgun practice!

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    1. Erin - You must have been feeding the same insects I've been feeding previous to this year!

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