If you’re new to growing broccoli, at first it might seem like a waste of garden space. Plants tend to be large and form a single, large, center head, but if you think that’s all there is to your broccoli harvest, think again.
Side Shoots on Broccoli
Once the main head has been harvested, lo and behold, the plant will begin growing broccoli side shoots. Harvesting broccoli plant side shoots should be done in the same manner as harvesting the main head, and side shoots on broccoli are just as delicious.
There is no need to grow a special type of broccoli for side shoot harvesting. Pretty much all varieties form broccoli plant side shoots. The key is to harvest the main head at the correct time. If you allow the main head to begin to yellow before harvesting, the plant will go to seed without forming side shoots on the broccoli plant.
Harvesting Broccoli Side Shoots
Broccoli plants produce a large, central head that should be harvested in the morning and cut at a slight angle, along with 2 to 3 inches (5-8 cm.) of the stalk. Harvest the head when it is a uniform green color with no hint of yellow.
Once the main head has been severed, you will notice the plant growing broccoli side shoots. Broccoli plant side shoots will continue to be produced for several weeks.
Harvesting broccoli side shoots is the same as harvesting the initial large head. Sever side shoots on broccoli in the morning with a sharp knife or shears, again along with a couple of inches (2.5 cm.) of stalk. Broccoli plant side shoots can be harvested for several weeks and are used the same as regular broccoli.