When to pick broccoli from the garden
Broccoli is a delicate cabbage that is not easy to keep fresh, and even for a long time. The thing is that it can quickly deteriorate if you do not follow the storage rules. Experienced gardeners still cope with the task of growing this type of cabbage, and with storage problems. Let's take a closer look at how to harvest and store broccoli.
When to harvest broccoli
The most important thing in growing broccoli is to harvest at the right time. Cabbage should not be either unripe or overripe. It is a whole science to determine the readiness of the swing. It is especially difficult to harvest broccoli on your plot if you do not live in the country all the time. Indeed, in this case, you do not observe the development of the plant on a daily basis.
The moment of fruit collection is determined as follows:
- be guided by the diameter of a ripe broccoli head, it should be at least 100 mm (by palm size);
- pay attention to the color of the roach, they should be dark green (the micro-buds on the roach should be closed, but if you are late with cutting the cabbage, the buds will bloom and the roach will turn yellow);
- the fruit becomes ripe about 60 days after the first shoots;
- the average weight of cabbages is not less than 0.25 kg.
If you are late and the heads of cabbage have turned yellow, then they can be thrown away. They are no longer suitable for cooking. In this form, they lose not only their visual appeal, but also their exquisite taste.
It should be remembered that in the broccoli beds, you can, without worry, leave it to zero degrees (until late autumn). Broccoli has different ripening times for different regions.
How to properly harvest broccoli
It is best to harvest the fruit early in the morning. The cabbage withers under the scorching rays of the sun.
Do not pluck the root broccoli or rip the fruit. It is only necessary to cut off the head itself. To do this, step back about ten centimeters from the center of the fruit (head) and cut off the cabbage.
Some people manage to cut the stem. There is no need to harm the plant in this way, because this bush can very soon bring a re-harvest.
The optimum temperature for collecting broccoli swings is at least minus two degrees. Consider this fact and plan your time so that you have time to collect the fruits before the onset of frost. Since broccoli does not tolerate low temperatures, in just a few hours at -2 and below, the cabbage will freeze quickly enough.
After you cut the head off the broccoli, the side shoots will grow, and very quickly.
Be sure to keep track of the cutting time and the readiness of the cabbage for cutting.
From experience, a young broccoli shoot matures in three days. In cloudy weather, ripening takes a little longer, it will take about a week. If the cabbage is harvested at the right time, then such a crop is stored much longer.
It should be remembered that only late types of broccoli, which are harvested in the fall, are frozen and kept fresh. From the earliest - it is immediately worth preparing food, avoiding any storage.
Be aware of the maturity of your cabbage planting and harvest on time! In this case, you will have a valuable, nutritious and dietary product on your table for a long time.
About harvest storage
Every gardener tries to make sure that his harvest is preserved as long as possible. It is for these purposes that broccoli bases are not harvested on the ridges. After cutting off the main heads of cabbage, you will soon find the appearance of new shoots from the side. This property of broccoli allows you to get a new crop from the beds.
Broccoli can be frozen successfully, it is perfectly preserved for about six months.To do this, each inflorescence is separated from the pump and placed in vacuum or other bags for freezing.
For many gardeners, this approach is closer: the cut roach is eaten, and the side shoots are frozen.
Let's talk more about how to properly freeze broccoli. For this you need:
- rinse the fruits under running cold water;
- to clear the heads of cabbage from leaves and hard parts of the stems;
- divide the pump into many inflorescences;
- in a salty solution (2 tablespoons of salt per 2 liters of water), immerse broccoli for 30 minutes to kill insects;
- after a salty solution, rinse the inflorescences with clean water;
- boil water in a large container, immerse cabbage inflorescences in boiling water and keep for 3 minutes;
- remove the inflorescences from the boiling water, move them into a dish with holes and immerse them in ice water for 5 minutes. (you can resort to using ice to lower the water temperature more);
- remove the cabbage from very cold water and transfer it to a container with holes to allow the water to drain;
- place broccoli inflorescences in special bags or containers for freezing (air is released from the bags).
Ready! Broccoli is ready to freeze!
Store such a prepared product in the freezer for a whole year. This is convenient for the whole family, and especially for the housewives: it is they who will pamper everyone with delicious and healthy dishes from a wonderful cabbage variety.
Often gardeners store broccoli without freezing. Fresh cabbage can be stored for 5 to 15 days. The maximum term can be reached by observing all storage rules. It is clear that you will not be able to save damaged or diseased heads of cabbage, even if you have harvested on time. Overripe shakes are stored for a much shorter period.
Store fresh broccoli inflorescences in a refrigerator under the following conditions:
- at an approximate humidity of 90 percent;
- at temperatures from 0 to +10 degrees;
- for broccoli, you need to allocate a separate container without any other products; some fruits and vegetables secrete substances that have a detrimental effect on cabbage, and it quickly decays and deteriorates;
To preserve fresh cabbage, you must:
- carefully examine the cabbage - are there any damage, mold spots and insects;
- do not wash cabbage before loading it into the refrigerator (you need to wash it before cooking);
- you can put the inflorescences in plastic bags, but do not close the bags so that there are no fumes inside, because of this, the cabbage will become moldy;
- as mentioned above, broccoli is stored at an air humidity of at least 90 percent; to add moisture, the bottom of the container in the refrigerator is covered with a damp paper towel, where an open bag of cabbage is placed (under such conditions, this product is stored for at least 14 days).
Still, it is not recommended to store fresh broccoli in the refrigerator for a long time, as it loses its taste every day. It is best to cook it within a few days of cutting.
If there is no time to cook, then freeze the broccoli as described above in our article.
In our article, we introduced you how to clean and store broccoli. With this knowledge, you can store broccoli as long as possible, both fresh and frozen, and ultimately prepare a nutritious dietary and delicious product for your whole family.