I've never REALLY enjoyed broccoli. I eat it because I know it's good for me, but truly enjoying it? That's a tough thing to ask. So why I decided to try growing it this year is beyond me. Perhaps because my mother-in-law grew these 4-5 foot tall plants last year and I was impressed. Maybe just for the challenge of it. Either way, I'm so glad I did! This broccoli is like nothing I ever imagined - I can't even begin to describe it. Let's just say that both my 1 year old and my 3 year old chowed down, as did the neighbor kids, and even me. No dip needed!
So in case you're interested in trying out broccoli, here's some tips!
1) Invest in a lightweight row cover. It'll keep those pesky cabbage moths from laying their eggs on your plants. Those are the little green worms that destroy all brassica plants! (cabbages, kale, kohlrabi, broccoli, and cauliflower) I have had no problems with the worms this year. In the top photo, it's the stuff that looks like a blanket.
|Back in June when the garden wasn't going wild.|
2) Don't seed all your broccoli at the same time! I seeded mine in March, all at the same time. And I had 8 large heads of broccoli mature, all at the same time. Whoops. Good thing it was excellent broccoli.
|The photo's a little grainy, but doesn't it look juicy? Even the stems were tasty!|
3) Plan for a fall crop. My broccoli was finished with its main heads in the end of June, and basically done with any off-shoots in mid-July. So instead of just letting it grow and getting itty-bitty sprouts for the rest of the summer, I started some more seeds back in June, and planted them last weekend. Of course, this was before my epiphany about not seeding them all at the same time, so I'll be getting a giant crop of broccoli again in September! Heigh ho, heigh ho, over to the freezer it will go.