One of the first vegetables that people really begin to enjoy when spring arrives is broccoli. If you planted the Green Comet variety of broccoli a couple of months ago then it's beginning to head out.
Now, one thing you have to remember about broccoli in the spring is that it's a little bit different than growing it in the fall. Of course this is the ideal maturity that you want to harvest broccoli in when you just begin to see these buds loosen up or become individual. If you are not careful though, in the spring within a couple of days it will begin to open like this, really blow up, and then about a day later all you will have is a bunch of blooms and a real mess as far as harvesting in concerned. So you have to get it quick when you see that it is ready and these little individual matchstick buds begin becoming apparent.
Now another thing that will become apparent for you real quick when you're growing broccoli or any of the cold season crops like that is that there are worms that sure like to eat holes in the leaves. Now when you begin to see these holes in the leaves begin to look on the bottom of the leaf for these worms such as we see here. Now this is a little one. That's a real little on and that's exactly when you want to spray them with a product containing bacillus thurengensis, sold as thuricide, biospray, diapel, and some of those types of things, and get this worm before he completely devours all of your broccoli.
Also remember when you cut the head of the broccoli, don't pull the plant up because these little shoots right here will form more a little bit later on and you can enjoy this most nutritious vegetable all spring long.
This has been Jerry Parsons Vegetable Specialist for the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, The Weekend Gardener.
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