Northwest Edible Life
You’d think that the hard part would be getting the seeds to germinate and coaxing that little seedling to grow. But time and again I see gardeners stumble just at the finish line: harvesting.
All season long plants have been tended and, just at the big, edible moment of payoff, the gardener hesitates: “Is it ready? Should I wait? Will it get bigger? Am I too late?”
Nothing seems to stump new gardeners more than the harvesting of broccoli and cauliflower. This makes sense, really. Most of the fruiting “vegetables” like tomatoes and peppers turn color when they are ready to be harvested so there’s a strong visual clue. Most of the leafy vegetables can be harvested at many sizes and still give you a great result: baby lettuce = yum! Head lettuce = yum!
But with broccoli and cauliflower you are really playing a game of chicken with the plant. You are trying to let the head grow as big as possible without going over and into the flowering stage, when it turns tough and bitter. (read the rest)