Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A prematurely flowering broccoli and a Garden Bloggers Death Day Announcement!

I've been a bit busy lately and the blog has taken a nice comfy seat on the backburner. I've finally found a spare couple of minutes tonight and thought I'd share my latest gardening dilemma with you. I have a prematurely flowering broccoli. What gives?


It's a new plant and with the first little heads of broccoli came yellow flowers. It never grew a nice large head of broccoli - I got funky small little broccoli buds and yellow flowers. I can't eat yellow flowers with my dinner! What happened to my broccoli? Do I need to get rid of the plant now?


Any ideas? I've never had this happen before and I'm perlexed - as usual.

*****

And my BIG ANNOUNCEMENT is that I'm holding the first Garden Blogger's Death Day of 2010 on April 30th for the Spring 2010 planting season!!



Garden Blogger's Death Day is the day for gardeners who overwater, underwater, maim, prune or otherwise neglect their plants to a state of dismal droopage or untimely death. This is the day for gardeners like me with black thumbs who kill more than they cultivate, for cadmium-green-thumbed gardeners who have a lapse in judgment and commit accidental planticide, and for any poor soul whose plants fall victim to that fickle mother who controls us all - Mother Nature.

So join me on April 30th for GBDD! Post on your blog what fell victim to your gardening wrath this month. Feel free to leave a comment explaining what you killed or maimed this month. If you have a blog leave a link to it so we can visit and check out post mortem photos too.

Remember, we're here for you. Let's not judge, but support each other like a good pair of pantyhose or a well-staked garden trellis.

21 comments:

Annie's Granny said...

I'd cut the broccoli head and leave the plant for a bit, as it might develop edible side shoots. You can do the same with cabbage, you know. Just cut the head and it will usually grow another mini-head!

Engineeredgarden said...

Yep, it's toast. It's all about warm weather, and that's why I don't even try to grow a spring crop.

Anonymous said...

My experience is that when the weather is too warm for broccoli, it "bolts to seed." I'm in So. Calif. so I don't even try to grow any of the cole crops during summer and fall. Early seeding in the fall works and the brocolli grows normally during the colder winter months here.

I think the "bolts to seed" phrase is fairly well known to commercial growers and gardners.

Daphne said...

If it were me I'd cut it off right away and hope for a good amount of side shoots. If it gets pollinated it might not send out side shoots. Some varieties put out better side shoots than heads, but usually premature flowering is a result of the weather or stress. If they see really cold weather when young they will bolt later on, or if they see really hot weather in their later age they will bolt too.

Erin said...

Ha ha! Death Day is here again, and just in time probably for me, I'll have to make the rounds today and see what destruction I can find. Your broccoli does seem small to be flowering! To my knowledge, it's done for, since when a plant flowers it's basically reacting to a signal that it's life cycle is complete and it is time to flower and send out seed. The biggest thing I can think of is that it's been too hot for it? How's your weather been?

Christa said...

great idea! i am sure i will have something to post :)

Turling said...

Hopefully, we're not limited to one entry for the Death Day extravaganza.

I think the broccoli is now mulch. Or, maybe not, as I'm told not to put flowered plants in there, or you'll get brocolli everywhere!

ldybug said...

I think it's just too hot. That happened to me.

Kate and Crew said...

THANK YOU THANK YOU everybody! I had never heard of "bolts to see" and I didn't know that the heat could affect broccoli this way. This is one of the many reasons I love this blog. I learn so much that I'd never figure out for myself!! I'll do like the Queen in Alice in Wonderland and shout "Off with his head!" and see if I get any side sprouts.

Daphne - I'm sure it's been pollinated. My garden is alive with bees these days. Damned bees doing their job so perfectly - LOL.

Maureen said...

If you don't need the space I'd leave it for the bees....at least for awhile.

We had quite a few broccoli bolt this year, and it never got over 70 (we grow ours in the winter here in central CA). Can't imagine how anyone grows these in the summer :)

Lizzy said...

If you keep the soil cool. Then it won't bolt. Cut off the broccoli head and remember to water the soil at least a couple times a day and the side shoots will continue to grow and produce a beautiful head of broccoli!

Wicked Gardener said...

OMG! A meme I can get behind! (I never have anything blooming on time for those other memes.)

Susan said...

That's too bad about your broccoli...but the flowers are a pretty yellow.

goneferalinidaho said...

Bolted due to heat, or in my fail with rhubarb, it was undernourished and bolted in March in cool weather. I'd never heard of rhubarb bolting. I wish I'd taken a pic. It looks like red broccoli.

iselleverything said...

Hey, I think I have the same thing growing. I didn't plant any seeds yet this year. All of the sudden when Spring came these green plants with yellow flowers started blooming. I'm guessing the brocolli shoots are next. How did yours turn out?

Anonymous said...

I just moved to China and found out they do that on purpose to eat the flowers! The first time I had the little yellow flowers and thin stalks was in a soup, but you can put them in anything. I just made some stir-fry for lunch with some broccoli flowers and decided to google other recipes and came across your blog.

beck said...

Oh man. My broccoli just did that.. Except it's winter here... Damn Australia lol!

Kristi Pavlack said...

Hi everyone. My broccoli did this flowering number, and I had a perfectly cool spring. Not sure why it flowered prematurely but I did discover something in the process... The tender, small florets, stems and preflowering pods are absolutely fabulous tasting...DON'T compost until you taste it! lovely, mild broccoli flavor. beautiful atop fresh salad greens. The flowers are beautiful and completely tasty. The tiny pods are personally my favorite. I think of all the times I fed my "bolted" broccoli to my rabbits. No wonder they went crazy over them!

Kristi Pavlack said...

no worries. Don't compost it, eat it! I was gravely disappointed to find my broccoli ready to bolt. Cool spring, and ideal conditions. I'm not sure why. But, the good news is I tasted a flower. Wonderful! Then an immature floret, next the preflowering pods, finally the stems. ALL delicious. Beautiful as a salad topper. Creates a visual interest and each component has its own texture. no bitterness. just a mild broccoli flavor. I can't believe I fed these delicacies to my rabbits in the past. No wonder they go crazy over them. Try it, you won't be disappointed.

Anonymous said...

So glad I found your blog-- i have an organic garden and my broccoli also started prematurely flowering with tiny heads -- from the heat I'm sure of it as we live in SoCal. I'll tray to harvest seed and plant again in the fall. I would appreciate any suggestions on harvesting the and keeping the flowers(seeds) to attempt to grow again in the Fall. I will also try the suggestion that I cut it down and cut all heads/flowers and hope it grows side shoots.

Donna Montgomery said...

Mine did the same thing and I stuck a few in a vase, then read where they are edible and made a killer salad with arugula and fresh herbs I grew! I topped it with the broccoli flowers, took a photo and it was delish!! There are no "fails" in my book!

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