Friday, March 13, 2015

Harvest Time Series-Broccoli Tips

We wanted to give you a head's up about an upcoming giveaway!

Mary, from Mary's Heirloom Seeds 
will be sponsoring a giveaway on 
The Maple Hill Hop 
next Tuesday.
Be sure to stop by and enter to win a fabulous gift package.
While you're there, we hope you'll join the HOP party!
See you then!

We're starting a new series today called 
Harvest Time.

We'll feature tips on how best to reap what you sow,
so that you get the most from your veggie and herb gardens.

Today's focus is harvesting broccoli.
Here in Central Florida, this crop is started mid-fall.

By the time winter rolls around,
we are picking fully-formed heads.
If the gardener is careful and efficient,
this generous crop will reward you well.
Execution is everything.

We talked about cutting the main head at an angle here.
This allows rain or irrigation water to shed easily away from the stalk
in order to prevent disease problems.
Once the head is removed,
the opportunity for tips emerges.
If you enjoy eating broccoli,
you will have as much as you can stand!

This is one of the tips that grows from the space provided.
They are even more tender than the head.

You can see where the new tips are growing.
It's kinda like The Sorcerer's Apprentice,
they just keep making more, and more, and more.
When you cut the bigger tip off,
you want to make sure you don't disturb the new tips forming.
Again, cutting the tips off at an angle will ensure that tips keep on comin',
and prevent disease issues from occurring.  
Lynn uses a sharp pocket knife to cut across the base of the stem,
and then stops just short of going all the way through.
He then gently pulls up what's left,
allowing the leaves and new tips to continue to form.

This is one crop that just keeps giving.
Knowing techniques to help make your harvesting easier and more efficient
is what this series is all about.
We hope to continue it as the season progresses.
Enjoy your harvest!

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