Friday, January 29, 2010

finally, broccoli and cauliflower emerge

I'm not really expecting big heads of broccoli or cauliflower from my five plants, but I am pleased to see these little (approximately 2-inch diameter) buds! Plus we can eat the broccoli leaves even if no more heads emerge. Maybe I'll only plant one broccoli and one cauliflower next fall because I've never had great luck with either, and they take lots of room. I think I'd rather use that space for more dinosaur kale and swiss chard.

purple cauliflower! Its innards are white, though.

After more than a week of very mild temperatures, we're drizzly and cold again here with hard freezes predicted for tonight and tomorrow night. I covered all the vegetables an hour ago and moved some potted plants into the shed. What little room I have inside I saved for my potted bay and thyme. I suppose I better get used to this routine. Stay warm, y'all.


Kathleen Scott said...

Potted bay? I have a bay tree planted out in the pitiful clay-over-limestone...but after 3 years, it still looks like an infant. Didn't know they'd grow well in pots. How big?

Your veggies are beautiful.

k said...

Yay for broccoli and cauliflower! I am loving them roasted.

TexasDeb said...

Leaves? You can eat the leaves? Oh man, there is SO much I have yet to learn....

After a good rain I decided not to cover last night - it JUST hit freezing here for a while this AM so not sure if I got away with that or not. Sheesh....I just got lazy there for certain. I won't risk that again (I say now, anyway).

Love the purply cauliflower. What gorgeous colors you have in your veggie garden this year.

Miranda R Mueller said...

Heck yes you can eat the leaves. Just as good as the flower in my opinion. I eat every part of my broccoli except for the snail nibbled bits and the tough lower stem: the chickens get those parts.
My broccoli has done quite well this and last year - not as big of crowns this year, but good enough. My cauli is just peeking out. I staggered about 8 brocc plants this year and i'm loving having so much, as i can eat a huge pot of steamed brocc all by myself!

Iris said...

Kathleen--Thank you! The bay was a gift about a month ago, so I just potted it, especially since it's only 10" tall and very skinny right now.

k--I like them roasted, too, especially with a little cumin, coriander, and turmeric!

Deb--Yep! Treat the leaves just like any greens. (I've never heard of eating cauliflower leaves, though.) I don't think it got as cold as was predicted last night (and probably won't tonight either), so you're probably fine. Thank you--I like the colors, too!

Miranda--We just ate huge bowls of steamed broccoli (as a change from roasted) for dinner tonight, but it was from Boggy Creek Farm Stand because mine's too puney so far. Congratulations on your big crop!

Linda/Central Texas Gardener said...

How beautiful! Your vegetables always look "too good to eat!"

Kathleen Scott said...

Thanks for following up on the bay tree. The upper leaves on mine are showing cold damage. I didn't even think about covering it. Since your post, I'm thinking of moving it to a raised bed (fenced from the deer, of course).

Iris said...

Linda--Thanks--I think it might be my photo-cropping skills as much as my ability to grow pretty vegetables!

Kathleen--You're welcome! I usually err on the side of covering anything new to me, but I don't yet know how cold sensitive bay trees are. From your comment, I'm guessing they ARE somewhat cold-sensitive.

KMTBERRY said...

I simply can NOT believe how little broccoli you are getting! I get HUGE amounts every winter, my broccoli are nearly as prolific as tomato plants. Well as tomato plants USED to be. (I wonder how they will do this year, assuming it keeps actually RAINING?)

Here are some things that might be wrong:

1) maybe you have planted a cruddy variety. I bought TWO varieties at Organic Gardener because I couldn't remember (of course) which one was the GOOD variety. The GOOD ones made gigantic heads and nearly full size secondary heads, staring in December. The BAD variety is just now making rather puny heads (like yours)

Oh...did I MARK which variety was which? OF COURSE NOT. I do remember what they were: Packman and Calabrese. I think PACKMAN is the good one.

2) Maybe they aren't getting enough SUN. My broccoli are facing South in an area of virtually no shade. My neighbor Glen planted his facing west. He is just now getting puny heads, and mine have been producing huge heads since December.

4) Maybe they are crowded? Since it sounds like you begrudge them space, maybe you can dig a bed especially for them next fall and plant them really far apart.

I hate to see you GIVE UP on Broccoli, when (in my experience) it is ONE of the most REWARDING things we can grow in this benighted climate.

Iris said...

KMTBERRY--Thanks for all the tips! I'm not giving up on broccoli yet. I planted mine from seed from Botanical Interests, and the variety was called "Di Cicco."

Pretty sure they're getting enough sun but they very well may be too crowded, and maybe Di Cicco isn't so great.