Tuesday, May 10, 2011

2011 Garden - Broccoli Blues

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I am pretty disappointed in my broccoli. I planted five plants this year on February 26th. I thought I got it in the ground early enough, but we have had some really hot weather early this year. We hit mid 90's today which is ridiculous. All that being said, I only had 1 plant out of the 5 that was far enough long that it had formed a central head of broccoli. I was beginning to worry that it might start bolting. So, I decided to harvest this central head today. The head was about 4 or 5 inches in diameter.

I had read all the hoopla about soaking the head in salt water for 20 minutes to get all the bugs out of it. I didn't see any bugs, but I decided to do that anyways. After a 20 minute soak, I proceeded to cut the head into nice little pieces and then....WORMS, WORMS, WORMS! It kind of freaked me out that there were so many in there. They were in every nook and cranny of the florets.  So then I dumped all the pieces in salt water again, and the bugs just would not turn loose.  I even sprayed them with my sink sprayer and they would not let go. I ended up throwing all the broccoli out.  I probably could have picked them out with a knife or something, but I would have wondered if I missed one while I was eating it.

Is this normal?  Are there always this many worms when harvesting broccoli? Is it because I planted too late? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. I am debating on pulling all the broccoli plants out, and planting my eggplant and jalapeno peppers in their place. I don't want to give up on broccoli, but if this is something that is normal then I will pass.  I don't see it being worth it for such a small amount of broccoli.
 














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9 comments:

Annie's Granny said...

It looks like you're going to have to get some BT and spray your broccoli from planting to harvest. I've had a few tiny cabbage loopers at times, and the salt water soak flushed them right out, but your infestation is gross....no, I wouldn't eat it either.

Kris said...

Ok, I am glad someone with experience agrees with me. I read about the BT, but if I have to do all that I may just have to buy my broccoli in the store. There are always reasons certain veggies do better in certain zones and this may be one.

GrafixMuse said...

I love broccoli, but a similar experience has me scarred for life I think. Just the thought of the worms that I can't see grosses me out and I can't eat it.

I did try growing broccoli under a row cover last year. It worked to keep the moths from laying eggs and I had no worms that I could see. But the earwigs thought it was a great place to live. At least I could see them and rinse them off though.

The Sassy Butterfly's Chaotic Musings said...

eeeeek !! Oh boy, that really gives me the willies!! I haven't tried broccoli cuz I was afraid our crazy GA temps would cause it to bolt too soon.. But those worms.. well, I think I'll leave the broccoli growing to someone else! lol

~Wendy

Kris said...

GrafixMuse - I don't know if I am scarred for life, but we went out to eat tonight for my mom's birthday and my dad ordered broccoli as one of his side items. Needless to say the thought did cross my mind. I may try again in the fall, or maybe try planting in late January. This spring is a bust.

Wendy - I am with you. I have gotten a few worms on my corn or my lettuce, but those are easy to spot and clean out. Broccoli just provides too many nooks and crannies for those critters to hide.

Anonymous said...

It's now Jun 14 and I have 50 broccoli plants to set out. Hmmmm. Did i blow it? Should I just wait til fall and try again?

Kris said...

Yes, I would say it is too late to plant broccoli unless you live way up north.

Randy said...

I have found that the only OP variety Green Goliath to produce large heads. In general all of the hybrids will produce large heads. Also, in the deep south (our region) we find that broccoli produces much better in the fall.

Kris said...

Randy - Thanks for the information on broccoli. You almost have me tempted to try a fall planting and see if I get better results. It has been a few months since the broccoli bugs scarred me for life.