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4 messages
22/11/2012 at 11:07
I was just wondering if anyone has had this problem or could someone tell me why it happens and how to prevent it? I would really love to resolve this problem as I and my family enjoy brocoli and would really like to have a successful growing season next year weather permitting. I have in the past have been told its because its too warm for it but its now mild and still happening,or is it a fertiliser issue. Thanks look forward to replies.
22/11/2012 at 20:36

I'm not a veg grower but I am a veg eater and I reckon to eat sprouting brocoli before I see the colour of the flowers. You're not expecting it to look like that stuff they sell as brocoli in the supermarkets are you? What I know as sprouting brocoli is in my neighbours plot now and he'll be harvesting after the winter.

22/11/2012 at 23:13
Hello nutcutlet,
I was'nt expecting it like supermarket but the heads would be lucky to have reached about between 1 to 2 inches is this normal and the things sprout yellow flowers.i
23/11/2012 at 06:22

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1283/purple-sprouting-broccoli-with-garlic-and-sesame

Is this what you've got?  Delicious Purple Sprouting Broccoli?  

Not the same thing as the big heads of comparatively bland supermarket broccoli originally known as Calabrese http://www.allotment.org.uk/media/9591/calabrese.jpg 

I much prefer Purple Sprouting, or it's slightly more delicate flavoured cousin the White Sprouting Broccoli http://camel-csa.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/white-sprouting-broccoli1.jpg 

It should be picked and enjoyed before the little yellow flowers open (the sprouting heads of all broccoli are little flower buds, as are the heads of cauliflower). but if a few little flowers are open its still edible.

Harvest the top/main sprouts first, and the plant will grow more lovely sprouts at the sides  for you throughout the winter.  If you get too much just blanch it in boiling water for a couple of minutes, chill it, bag it up and freeze it.

It does appear that your plants are cropping early, and goodness knows why that is - the whole season has been odd - maybe they had a bit of transplant shock earlier on - but if you harvest the spouts as they develop they should go on producing throughout the winter. 

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