Winter Vegetables

This is almost an encore presentation of Plain Gardening.  Last fall, we visited gardening expert Bill Finch’s winter vegetable garden.  We saw some lovely greens then, and now it’s a vegetable explosion of sorts.  Kale is busting out all over—including Bill’s delicious palm kale—and lots of broccoli.

Bill says people forget about broccoli after it’s produced one head in fall or early winter…but they shouldn’t.  Broccoli on the Gulf Coast has a BIG second season in late February and early March and even into early April.  The first head on a broccoli plant is large, and when it’s cut off it’s replaced by lots of smaller heads that are just as delicious.

Bill loves to experiment with broccoli, like purple sprouting broccoli and Brazilian broccoli.

If your broccoli is flowering just a little, it’s still okay to eat.  Bill says that’s what broccoli is: a flower.

The only problem broccoli seems to have is caterpillar worms, usually after late March.  Bill says something called BT or bacillus thuricide will get rid of those pests.  It’s actually a disease that ONLY affects caterpillars.  Bill emphasizes that it’s completely safe for people.

Oh, and before you eat them, the broccoli is quite decorative!

Learn more about broccoli and second-season veggies by calling Bill’s radio show Sunday mornings on 106.5FM or email plaingardening@yahoo.com.

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