Remember a few weeks ago when I gloated about how well my broccoli were doing? You can imagine how devastated I am that we only got to harvest one head, this glorious head of Watkins super king broccoli, before the other dozen or so heads bolted.
Yes, that's right, the whole lot bolted. Bolting is when the plant starts going kind of haywire and produces seed. Which it should, I guess, cos that's what plants do - they make seed. And the seed head of a broccoli? The very thing we eat. As I have learnt, you have a small window of opportunity before the head bolts, and those florets that were previously tightly packed little trees of goodness separate and become bitter and tough and start to flower.
So what did I do wrong? According to Gardening Know How, "Bolting can be prevented by either planting the plant early in the spring so that it grows during the late spring or late in the summer so that it grows during early fall. You can also add mulch and ground cover to the ground, as well as watering regularly in order to keep the soil temperature down." That's not much help, as I did that, and it bolted. Could our moderately warm autumn have been to blame?
Or was it just a case that I left it too long, and got greedy and wanted to wait until my broccoli were the size of bowling balls until I harvested them, thus showing what an awesome gardener I am to the world? Ahem, perhaps.
But hey, looking on the bright side I have plenty of seed for next year.
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