R.I.P., six broccoli plants

So little but so tasty

Green Gluttony season is winding down, at least where the greenhouse is concerned. I have been cleaning out the greenhouse beds fairly slowly. The tomatoes, eggplants and peppers, though, are beginning to get large, so it is time to completely clean out the beds to make room for them. Because the greenhouse gets so hot, only heat-loving things like the toms and peppers get to live in there in the summer.

Am I alone here in saying that hauling out still-growing greenery is hard for me? Even nixing stuff that is really winding down, like this broccoli, makes me a little misty. I can be such a sap sometimes. I would like to do a bit of a eulogy for the broccoli, however. There were six plants total; three Calabrese green sprouting, and three Piracicaba. I planted rows of seed in late July, and transfered the little seedlings into the greenhouse beds in early October. I spent October through December tending them, squishing those nasty cabbage worms as I went (until the frost did them in for good) and just patiently watching them sprout. Then, toward the end of January, I got my first real harvest. I was elated. And they’ve put out little sprouts ever since. They still would be, but…their time has come.

I must also mention two proven winners from the greenhouse. One is a cold-friendly lettuce. I admit I shaded this thing mercilessly by planting it next to some beets, but…it has been our stalwart beauty! I planted this batch last September. If you know anything about lettuce, it’s a short-season crop. Well, look at it. September to May is not what I’d call a short season, and it shows no signs of bolting. This is called Winter Marvel. I agree. Marvelous.

The last winner is an Italian dandelion. This chickory has grown fairly slowly, but its beautiful red-ribbed leaves have added a welcome bite to the salads since October. It is at the point that I need to chop a whole row down and fry it up with some green garlic.

(I really love this greenhouse.) Thanks, everybody! (Sniff!)

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5 responses to “R.I.P., six broccoli plants

  1. I have such a hard time pulling up plants that are past their prime that my DH decided this year that it is a task he’ll take on. He’ll also trim the peppers. I hate to pull them up if there is still one itty bitty tomato on it. He’ll do the pulling this year, and we’ll plant more. We’re looking for a heat tolerant lettuce as it gets so hot here and stays that way most of the year.

    Your dandelion looks great and sounds even better sauted up with garlic. Yum!

  2. Wait, wait. I just saw an article at Garden Rant with a man who played Christmas music on a bit of broccoli. What are you thinking- you could start a band.

  3. p.s. apparently, I have too much time on my hands today.

  4. OMG, I have such a hard time! I’ve been giving myself little hoop house pep talks this spring as I battle the slugs. “Yes, they’re still green and they’re food, but they’re damaged enough to yank out and feed to the animals and start again.”

    I’ve pulled so many plants just to create some breathing room in there–about 5 or 6 big rubbermaid tubs full of them! The upside is that the animals are quite pleased with the greens and don’t mind the slug damage one little bit. In fact, the chickens consider it quite a treat when get a slimy little creature of their very own. 😉

  5. Jules: I am glad I am not the only one out there! Though tomatoes are usually okay on my hit list: I tend to plant so many of them that I am quite tired of them by season’s end. Oh and that Italian dandelion was divine. Ate it all myself, did not share…

    Pamela! Hilarious. I saw that too, so maybe we both have too much time on our hands 😉 ? The Rant is one of my favorite sites, anyway.

    Danielle: Oh my gosh we need to have a FULL discussion about slugs and how to avoid them. They’re having a feast on the poor peppers in the greenhouse now. The only things that eat my greenhouse spent plants (other than us) are the microbes in the compost heap, sniff. They’re thankful, though, I am sure… I am seriously considering geese with my turkey order just so I can “share” the greenery. That certainly is another post in itself: I keep thinking about your Christmas meal! LOVE goose, will be bringing my husband along in this one too.

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