We finally have decent broccoli heads. Above pictured are the developing heads of a variety of broccoli called DeCicco. Even in this heat it has not bolted and is producing pretty decent 6 inch heads of broccoli. I can't imaging what it would have produced had it been planted as our first planting instead of the sprouting variety.
This was the size of the central head of the Calabrese variety broccoli that was our first planting. We found that it made a big and beautiful plant, obviously healthy with a small central head. Once the central head was cut it produced lots of small side shoots.
I think part of our problem with this Calabrese variety is that in past years we like to get lots of large central heads harvested at once. Freeze large quantities at one time and then we usually eat the later side shoots that develop fresh with our meals. Once the broccoli crop is frozen then we move on the preserving the next crop. With this type it just drags it out over a longer period of time, and we feel not producing as much overall.
With both of these varieties growing in side by side rows it is just the difference in the plant performance of the individual variety as they have had the same soil, water and fertilizer. So we have pulled up the first of the Calabrese which was our original planting and fed it to the chickens and rabbits. The chickens and rabbits ate off the green leaves and the remaining stems went into the compost.
We look forward to a large harvest of the DeCicco now to be frozen. For our third planting or fall planting we are planting a variety called Premium Crop. This hybrid we purchased from Henry Fields after seeing it in our neighbors garden. It produced wonderfully for them and we were impressed with not only the size of the heads (9 inch) but the amount of side shoots and the size of those side shoots. I will be starting the third crop the first of July for a mid September crop if all goes well.
Blessings from The Holler
The Canned Quilter