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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,
I have a question about Broccoli and Brussel sprouts. My broccoli is now about 2 - 2 1/2 feet tall, I have about 10 plants and they are all leaves. They look very healthy, but I have never grown them before. I do not see any floweretts yet, when will I start to see the floweretts, and where on the plant are they. Do they form in the center of the plant, or inbetween each large leaf? I don't know.

Also, first time for Brussel sprouts too. I have maybe 6 plants and they are about 2 feet tall and are very leafy and look healthy. When will I start seeing some brussel sprouts on these plants?

Thank you for any information anyone can provide, I'm just a little confussed right now, people are saying that they are eating their broccoli, and I don't even see any floweretts starting yet. I am in zone 6 Ct. and they have been planted in the ground for 2 months now and started from seed in the house.
joyce
 

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My broccoli has not headed yet either. It will form at the center of the plant. After that is cut, smaller heads will appear between the leaves. The heads will form quickly, do not worry. It is too early to see brussel sprouts, they are a fall crop.
 

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I just harvested my broccoli. I started the seeds March 5, set them out April 16th, and harvested July 1-8th (ish). So if yours are on the same timeline as mine were, you still have almost another month to wait. You should be seeing itty bitty heads in the center of the plants soon! :D

Here is a photo from last year; two broccoli plants side by side, planted too close together. But it gives you an idea what you'll be seeing.

 

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I started seeds in mid March, and mine are just now setting heads (not the best growing year) But it will be a couple weeks before they are large enough to eat. I gave a bunch of starts to a neighbor who uses black plastic as a mulch, and she has been eating broccoli for about two weeks now-I'm jealous.

Your brussel sprouts....those will start to form tiny heads at the stalk, just above the leaves. Right now, mine are not so tall as yours, and I can see the dark spot where they will be in a few weeks time. As you move into cooler weather, you can think about taking off the lower leaves-I usually wait until they are the size of big marbles before I do that. I would think you have a couple months to go on those. My brussel sprouts are about one and a half foot tall, a little behind yours, as I didn't get them in the ground until almost June.

Oh, I am zone 3
 

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I'm in Zone 6 and have been eating broc for some time, cauliflower is long gone and have had 3 meals of Brussel Sprouts so far.
 

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Broccoli harvest can be spread out over a few weeks by planting different varieties, early and late. My early is about half done, but the late has just started to show little button heads. I was always taught to "top off" the brussels sprouts plants. When the stalk is covered with little sprouts, cut the top of the plant right off, so the energy goes into the sprouts rather that the height of the plant. I'm in zone 5 and no sign of sprouts yet.
 

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brocolli can depend on the variety you plant. Some form early, and some later. Some form one big head, and others form continuing small heads and side shoots.

About brussel sprouts. I love growing them, especially in my zone 3 where they are about the last brassica I can harves with cabbage after a couple of nips of frost past late september usually. I look for the leaves to form and then watch for the small brussel sprout to begin forming at the axis where the leave joins the stalk. Once that small sprout is assured, about the size of an average marble, I break the leaf off and let that brussel sprout gain in size.

your plants should look like this as they grow with the brussel sprouts growing spiral around the stalk. If you wish the plant to keep producing good sized sprouts, keep the top bud growing until the last harvest. The best varieties I've grown are Bubbles and Oliver:

 

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Okay, here's a goofy question. How do you know when the sprouts are ready to pick, and do you pick them all at once or work your way up picking them as they get "large enough"?
 

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I always just picked the sprouts as I needed them. Also, you can eat the leaves from the top of the plant, too. They are delicious!
 

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turtlehead said:
Okay, here's a goofy question. How do you know when the sprouts are ready to pick, and do you pick them all at once or work your way up picking them as they get "large enough"?
you can pick them at any stage, starting at the bottom ones that are most mature. However, they are the ultimate best tasting after the second nip of light frost that really brings out the sweeness and flavour they posess. I find early ones, especially if even watering or rains haven't developed, that they can taste a little bitter.
 

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I have to agree. I've picked them into October.
 

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I have already frozen the majority of the heads on the broccoli. I'm still harvesting side shoots off the broccoli. I planted Packman, it's pretty much gone now but the Premium Crop keeps giving me shoots. I have been pleased with that variety. It's been like the Energizer Bunny, it keeps going and going! :)

I had my first brussels sprouts over the weekend. Planted transplants in April. When the sprouts feel firm, that's when I twist or cut them off. The sprouts closer to the bottom are ones on my plants that are firming up first. This is the first year that I have planted brussel sprouts. To get to those little burgers that are ready, I cut off the leaf below where I was harvesting, so I could get to them easier. I'm just going to randomly twist off the ones that are firm. This may not be right, but that's what I'm a doin! Do you know that this has been the first time that I have ever eaten fresh brussel sprouts! I have eaten them frozen on many occasion, but never fresh. My goodness, I had a treat!! Take Care.
 

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DianeWV said:
I have already frozen the majority of the heads on the broccoli. I'm still harvesting side shoots off the broccoli. I planted Packman, it's pretty much gone now but the Premium Crop keeps giving me shoots. I have been pleased with that variety. It's been like the Energizer Bunny, it keeps going and going! :)
Diane,
what zone are you?

I have grown Packman brocolli and also like it a lot.
This year I'm trying one called Super Dome. It's coming along. I only planted them in mid June as transplants. The other is Green Goliath, which I've grown before. It's also a good one.
 

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Hi Moonwolf! I'm zone 5. I'm actually right on the border between 5/6. I am going to have to try that Super Dome. I have also planted Green Goliath and like it as well. I like the Packman because it's only 45 days and comes on earlier. This year, I bought transplants called "Premium Crop". I was hesitant to try these because I had never seen this variety. The plants were very healthy so I said what the hey. I love the Premium Crop. They produce large, nice solid heads and have been slow to flower it seems. They just keep producing side shoots, that are firm. I going to plant this variety again next year.

Talking of varieties, I planted a new cabbage to me this year, Golden Acre. Man, what a good cabbage that is! Small plants, medium size heads-very sweet and it's only around 60 some days. I have already ate and processed that. I'm now harvesting the Late Flat Dutch. It makes good sauerkraut. I like to watch and grow the Late Dutch. They do get huge!

Any good varieties of cauliflower out there? i'm thinking of fall here. Haven't planted cauliflower for a few years and just thought I would give it a whirl.

BTW-I sure have enjoyed looking at all your pictures you have posted!! Thanks for those, and take care. It's been a scorcher here the last couple of days, Hope it rains to cool things off. :)
 

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DianeWV,
Thanks for the scoop about Late Flat Ducth cabbage. I am growing that one for the first time, and wanted a big late cabbage. So, I guess it's a good choice. I'm also growing a red cabbage called Red Acre which I haven't grown before. I love to eat sweet and sour red cabbage about once a week!
I grew a small headed early cabbage one year, but can't remember the name. It was sweet and tender. Nice to have some early like that.

I haven't grown caulflower for a few years since the attack by bugs and disease on those around here was so bad. Before that I grew one called 'Snowflake' that, if I remember was fairly early and good/white. Look for a variety with good 'self blanching' leaves if you can find those.
 

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it's another "blah" year for my broccoli. i bought plants in 4 packs and set them in in mid-may. it was too hot here in june. lots of days in the 80's and 90's. (odd for south pa in june). i got better sized heads than last year, but they were still small. i have grown awesome broccoli on the past. i let 3 plants that were not on the verge of flowering alone with the hope that they would get bigger. guess what...the darn groundhogs had a feast! i have already eliminated 6 this year. i normally get 8-12 hogs...i guess i am at par for those, lol. i have seen groundhogs eat lots of leaves, but today was the first i ever saw that one had eaten a whole head of broccoli. sigh...

if i don't get my entire garden fenced in for next year, i am at least fencing the broccoli and cabbage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you so much everyone here! You have answered all my questions and more. More than I had expected. I enjoyed all the photo's so much, I know now what to look for and what to do when the magic happens. I am so excited about getting some fresh broccoli for my family, they love it so much but I am sure that being organic it will be even better than store bought fresh. And maybe with the fresh brussel sprouts my grandson will change his mind about them and love them like the rest of us do. I changed his mind on fresh green beans last year, and he loves them now.
Thank you so much everyone for all your input and of course those wonderful photo's!
joyce
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Meloc, to solve your problem with ground hogs and I know from experience that it works is dryed fox urine. You can buy it on the internet or in a nursery. But you have to be diligent and sprinkle it all around the edges of your garden, or for that matter, around the edges of the land that your garden sits on. Read the directions on the package, first week I believe is once every 3 days, second week once every 5 days and third week once every week, so on. But the stuff works. I had them 3 years ago, and they are no more. (knock, knock, knock on wood). But if I see them again, I will go out right away and sprinkle around again, so fast! They are eiser to control than your neighbors cats, I had to fence in my herb garden because of cats. Good luck.
joyce
 

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windsng225 said:
I am so excited about getting some fresh broccoli for my family, they love it so much but I am sure that being organic it will be even better than store bought fresh.
Last year was the first year I'd grown broccoli. I figured "fresh" from the garden would be very similar to "fresh" from the produce aisle at the grocery store.

I kid you not: the first time we had garden broccoli at dinner, every single person followed the same behavior. Study broccoli. Cut if necessary. Put in mouth and chew a couple of bites. Freeze all motion as eyes open as big as saucers.

It was that good.
 
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