Uncertain about the (unplanned) broccoli

Back in the spring I “inherited” a few pots which contained what were described at the time as broccoli seedlings. There were no plans to grow broccoli as I only had limited space but I’m unable to resist a few seedlings and I was curious to see how they would turn out.

Eventually I potted them on when they needed it and then planted them out in the garden. However I have no idea whether they really are broccoli, how/what I should do to encourage them nor is it clear how I can tell when it’s harvest time!

At the moment I quite like the dainty yellow flowers  but I have a nasty feeling that perhaps they are  a bad sign? In reality these seedlings were only planted in some spare flower bed space so it doesn’t matter too much in the grand scheme of things but I’d still like to understand this a little better.

As far as I can tell this might be either broccoli or calabrese but none of the online information I’ve read so far tells me when it should be harvested. I think I read somewhere that one of the two is an over-wintering crop while the other isn’t so maybe I’ll just leave them alone for a while and see what happens towards the end of summer.

Here is a picture of a couple of the plants in case anyone can provide some better information to clear up my confusion…


Late Update:

Oh dear… After another quick search around the web just before posting this  I think I’ve missed a trick with this broccoli. Oh well, at least the flowers look nice!

The time to cut your first `spear` or flower shoot is when they are well formed but the tiny flower buds have not yet opened. Letting them flower will render the spear tasteless.

via Growing Broccoli For Best Results – Vegetable Growing Tips and Pictures.

Vegetable progress update

The potatoes are finally starting to show signs of life which is encouraging. That is only when compared to the apparently interminable wait for anything to happen of course. I’m sure that I will soon need to worry about earthing them up but for the moment they should be okay.

early potatoes coming up - May 2012

The onion sets that were planted in the veg bed are looking very good – it may not look like that in the photo but trust me on this! Even the extra ones that I planted in various pots around the garden a little later are coming on nicely. I would have planted more but I ran out of space and containers to put them in!

onion sets coming on nicely (with cabbages)

In a probably futile attempt to seize some more vegetable space in the garden I decided to hide some broccoli seedlings behind a few French Marigolds. I’m not sure if that will help with the companion planting but I had some marigolds left over and didn’t want to waste them.

This area is really supposed to be a flower bed anyway but I don’t have anything special to put in there at the moment so I figured it was worth a try. I think I got away with it but only time will tell..

trying to hide the broccoli behind some french marigolds in the flower bed