A garden is the best alternative therapy.

Bolting broccoli

The high temperature yesterday was nearly 80 degrees – a big swing from the low temperature of 42 degrees we enjoyed overnight.  The broccoli plants must have gotten confused and thought it was summer because they spent all their energies stretching their crowns up to the sky!   (Broccoli will bolt when the weather is too warm, which means stretching up towards the sun to begin flowering.)  Fortunately, no flowering occurred, and we harvested and each ate a large portion of broccoli with our dinner last night.   Calabrese broccoli has a very mild flavor, and it was delicious steamed and plain.  I’m not usually one to eat broccoli stalks, but I found myself really enjoying the softer center of the stalk.  I had to stop myself from peeling off the outer skin, reminding myself that it is full of nutrients, too.  I think that when I’m finished harvesting crowns and shoots, I’m definitely going to harvest what I can of the stalks, cut them up and freeze them for broccoli cheese soup later on.   I’m wondering how my two newest broccoli plants will fare after transplanting them.  Will they produce well or simply bolt?  Well, there’s only one sure-fire way to figure that out.  Plant them!

Meanwhile, the spinach plants have really grown in size the past week or so since my last post.  Abundant sunshine mixed with some rain showers here and there works like magic – with the added help of fish emulsion foliage sprays!   I think I’ll make a big salad tonight for the family, mix in some spinach leaves, red sail lettuce, buttercrunch lettuce and cosmo savoy lettuce.  If we still have our homegrown carrots left, I also like to shred carrots on my salad.   Using ingredients I have at home (Bragg’s Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, organic extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, ground savory, and dried fennel), I can add homegrown dried thyme, lavender, rosemary, sage, oregano,oram and basil to make a nice Herbs de Provence salad dressing to top it off.  Nothing fancy to the herb recipe, just a couple tablespoons of each, mixed together well.   (Incidentally, this is also a great marinade for chicken.)

I harvested three heads of lettuce yesterday because I have so many maturing at the same time.  I washed and spun the leaves and brought a full grocery sack up to work for my colleagues to enjoy.  Looks like over half the bag is eaten!  There are a couple other gardeners here who like to share their bounty with the rest of us, so it’s nice to be able to have enough to share as well.    I’ll probably need to cut down a couple more heads and run them over to my mother-in-law’s house this weekend.  Don’t want good lettuce to go to waste!

Broccoli bed after harvesting

More broccoli crowns forming


Comments on: "Catch the bolting broccoli before it flowers!" (12)

  1. Hi i am new here just followed from Noelle’s side bar. I envy your vegetable gardening as in our area most of the ground are shaded by already grown trees and fruit trees. Brocolli is my favorite but we cannot make them flower in this very hot clime. We only have them in our highlands. BTW, you should have included its photo in this post before cooking them, hehe. thanks.

    • roundrockgarden said:

      Thank you Andrea. I should have taken a picture, I know! Time was a little short getting dinner ready, so I forgot!

  2. yum broccoli! at least a handful of my plants always go to bolt… but i still love picking the tender leaves great in salads, etc.
    i just put in a new veg box yesterday… i planted tomatoes, mustard, pumpkins, etc. we’ll see how fast they come up with the cold weather cal is still getting.

  3. Isn’t it amazing how weather changes so quickly? It can make one crazy trying to keep up with the changes it causes in the garden :^)

  4. I’ve never grown broccoli before — and my transplants just got in the ground this week, so I’d be in big trouble if we suddenly got up into the 80s. Here’s hoping ours make something. Thanks for the heads up with the fish emulsion! (I love that stuff.)

    You sound like quite the generous soul with your produce. Isn’t it wonderful to be able to give someone else the joy and nutrition of homegrown, organic veggies? It makes me feel a bit like Santa Claus — only wearing green. 😉

    • roundrockgarden said:

      Good luck to you with yours! Can’t wait to see their progress! I’m going to get my new transplants in the ground this weekend and see how they do.

      Yes it is nice just giving something I grew myself! (My mom always said the best gifts are the ones you make yourself!) When I tell people, “it’s also organic” – they act like they just got an added bonus – and they did! 🙂

      I like giving stuff away when I have an excess – last year as party favors for our wedding, I made herbal sachets filled with dried herbs I grew myself in the back yard. People must’ve liked them because the whole bowl was gone!

  5. aloha,

    wow, i’ve never grown brocolli before , i’m inspired…sounds like you’ve got alot of stuff in the ground already…okay time for me to lay off the ornamentals for now 🙂

    • roundrockgarden said:

      Aloha to you! Mostly what I have in the ground got planted late in the fall and has weathered our mild winter. I’ve got a lot started inside right now and it’s probably okay to plant outside, but I’m waiting just a few days to get a 15-day forecast through the end of the month. Noel, I’m envious of the beautiful, green state you call home! The sunset and palm trees are just wonderful!

  6. i am a new gardener and have planted brocoli from seed in late may. i have very big bushy plants but havn’t gotten any veg from it yet, nore flowers. Have i done something wrong? Or just not patient enough. Please help!

    • roundrockgarden said:

      Welcome Jen! Broccoli takes awhile before it starts producing a crown. Depending upon your variety, that might seem like a long time! Stay patient! Also, you won’t see flowers until after you have crowns.

      In the meantime, broccoli needs at least an inch of water a week if not more. They also consume a lot of nutrients, so make sure you’re fertilizing them every two weeks. We use fish emulsion and liquid seaweed.

  7. My daughter sent me a link to your site as I sent her an identical picture of my sad brocolli. So the only answer is to cut and eat the little you get? I usually don’t feed my plants, I put lots of manure in all winter (cleaning the barn) then they fend for themselves, with some water help. I live in the north east, normally not known for it’s hot weather, but we’ve hit 90 most days lately. I’m following you now to increase my garden knowledge.

    • roundrockgarden said:

      Sorry for the late response. Of course you can eat the broccoli flowers and all, but yes – once it has bolted it is just a matted of time before those little florets swell with flowers until bursting into full bloom. Trim the main crown cutting down at 44 degree angle and continue trimming the sideshoots as they bolt too. Thanks for reading!

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