Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Tough Garden Choices With Broccoli

Don't worry, the post on the indoor tomato experiment is on its way. They are now almost a metre tall! Wonders of only a few hours of direct sunlight. Alas I broke my toe last night and that post needs a fair amount of work. Given this pain I decided to go for another smaller but equally as pressing post - about the Purple Sprouting Broccoli. It is growing so so so well as you can see by the pictures below.


Thing is, I only just realised how long it takes from planting to harvest (almost a year). And the pots/spaces it occupies will be needed in several months. So the dilemma is do I keep tending to it now only to pull it in September, or do I pull it now and put in something like silverbeet or lettuce that will crop before the end of the wintery season? I could just pull some of them and leave one or two, because I plan in staggering the tomato planting over the season so maybe just maybe one of the purple sprouting broccolis will sprout? Am I wrong in thinking they take so long?

Decisions, decisions. Thoughts anyone?

8 comments:

Dan said...

I don't know a whole lot about purple sprouting broccoli but I am trying it this fall. I would think it should produce sprouts once your day light starts increasing again.

SuburbanGardener said...

Hi Prue, Our broccoli did not produce as much food as we expected. We have enough space to spread out the containers, but with a balcony garden you may want to move on. Change it to lettuce. Tally ho.

Jamie said...

That 'one year' things sounds too long to me, if it's anything like normal broccoli. My seed packet for ordinary broccoli says it takes around 18 weeks from seed sowing to harvest, and that was about right. And my slowest crop of all last year, the yummy parsnips, took 20 weeks. And lots of slow growers like caulis and cabbages only take 18-20 weeks.
So a whole year sounds all-wrong to me. I say soldier on, Prue! I think you could be savouring home-grown broccoli well before grand final day, given that your plants already look nicely advanced.

Lisa said...

You mustn't pull it, after all this! It's like my commerce degree - I refused to waste the misery of the first year and a half by dropping out, so I insisted on finishing it.

Everything is taking ages to grow in Melbourne this year, apparently...it's cold!

Bangchik and Kakdah said...

I just germinate broccoli... I never imagine its going to be that long before harvest!!... it must be worth the wait...

~ bangchik

prue said...

Lisa - I did that with a psych degree!!! Now i study Nazis, any connection?

Thanks everyone for your comments. The fear that it takes a year came from reading blogs about those who grow it. Apparently it is different from normal broccoli. Oh well. It is staying in, for the moment, at least until I return from my trip to Adelaide (and if totally new balcony sitter keeps it alive)

If it still annoys me then I'm taking your advice Suburban Gardener and putting in the lettuce. You can never have too much lettuce, and at present it has lettuce as a companion plant.

prue said...

Oh and Bangchick, glad to hear your broccoli tasted so good. So did my green one.

prue said...

and in any case, I'll leave one in until at least Grand Final day, thanks to Jamie's advice!