by Shawnda on May 6, 2011

in Garden


Our gardening strategy could be summed up with: Plant first. Google questions later. We’ve made some missteps along the way, for sure. Plants we planted in February (toss one back for the long Texas growing season!) would have been better suited for planting in September. Like broccoli.

What we planted
4 plants that were ~5-inches tall when we bought them.

What we got
Besides an incredible feeling of satisfaction from walking out into your backyard with scissors to get broccoli for a stir fry? Or for tacos (don’t ask, they needed to be picked and my options were limited at lunch time). So far, we’ve harvested several medium heads of broccoli from each plant. And one large flowering stalk (oops).


What we’ve learned
That’s broccoli. With my garden-digger-upper standing next to it (why can’t she pull up weeds instead of bell pepper plants?). Jeopardy fact of the day: The head of broccoli is actually just clusters of immature, closed flowers. Who knew? (We sure didn’t.) Given enough time, not enough water, or exposure to temperatures over ~80F, those heads of broccoli will rapidly shoot into stalks of delicate yellow flowers… not so perfect for a stir fry. But they are pretty!

What’s next
With temperatures consistently in the mid-to-high 80s/low 90’s, I’m not sure we’ll get much more than “snacking broccoli” until the fall. We will probably add additional plants for a winter crop.


{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 branny May 6, 2011 at 5:01 am

I came home once to find my husband had planted broccoli in our front garden bed (he said it had better light!). We live in SC and never got much more than ‘snacking broccoli’ as well. Luckily, the husband loves it in everything. It graced itself on baked potatoes, in omelets, tacos (too!), and burritos.


2 Michelle May 6, 2011 at 5:43 am

Learn something new every day! I’m in a tiny New York apartment and was planning on growing herbs on the fire escape. Looks like the broccoli garden will have to wait until I have a yard. Thanks for sharing! P.S. Love the new design!


3 Apron Appeal May 6, 2011 at 5:47 am

Maybe I’ll try your approach to gardening this weekend. I obsess over details to make sure it’s perfect and then guess what…it never gets done! That’s it, I’m just going to go by those seeds/starts and plant them wherever I can find the dirt. This should be interesting. :)


4 foodiebride May 6, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Do it!


5 Katie Rose May 6, 2011 at 6:51 am

My approach is totally the opposite. Research, research, research some more, and then MAYBE get around to planting something. Quick! Do it before I convince myself that I’m going to do it wrong! Our weather has only just turned to planting time so no fruits from my labors yet but I’m hoping it will work out wonderfully. Two things I found help keep my son out of my garden, first- I gave him his own area that is “his” that he can dig around in and rip plants out of if he wants and he helped me plant some seeds there (I don’t expect them to grow) and I also gave him some of my extra seedlings to plant rather than toss them, figuring they have a shot at some growth. The other thing was our sandbox. We built it for him last year and he is thrilled to be able to dig around and mess in there while I’m busy planting and weeding. For now anyway ;-)


6 foodiebride May 6, 2011 at 7:27 pm

That’s such a great idea! I’m going to pick her up some of those play garden toys so she can “help” garden in her own little area.


7 Kim (Feed Me, Seymour) May 6, 2011 at 8:30 am

So you also employ the same gardening methods I do! I just went crazy, planted a ton of stuff and then later asked questions. Currently, my radishes and zucchini are growing out of control while my onions are just begging for their end to come quickly.

But awesome! Yay for your veggies!


8 Lindsay @ Peace, Love and French Fries May 6, 2011 at 9:03 am

we first planted broccoli last year, and pretty much had the exact same experience!! I was shocked how large the plants got, and we learned the hard way what happened if you don’t harvest the broccoli on time! I liked throwing those little handfuls of broccoli into a quiche or frittata in the morning. YUM!


9 Lisa @ The Cooking Bride May 6, 2011 at 2:27 pm

The brocolli looks beautiful, but I love the fat little baby legs even more!


10 foodiebride May 6, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Ha! We love those fat baby legs, too :)


11 Elina (Russian Bites) May 6, 2011 at 2:31 pm

That’s so cool!! I had no idea what broccoli “in the wild” looked like. I would love some day to walk over to my backyard and get some broccoli… or peppers… for a stir-fry! :)


12 Marla May 6, 2011 at 3:07 pm

Go you with the gardening! Over here I hardly attempt, no green thumb ;) Your little one is precious! Have a wonderful Mother’s Day :) xo


13 Lynne May 6, 2011 at 11:52 pm

Woah! That’s so cool! Actually, I just picked my own broccoli too! It took about a year, but we finally got to eat it!


14 Jude McIntyre May 7, 2011 at 8:12 am

That’s exactly the way I have gone about my kitchen garden! I class myself as an ‘experimental’ gardener. Plant first, ask questions later!


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