This is the state of the broccoli this year:
We’ve really never been able to grow big heads of broccoli, cabbage, or cauliflower, even in sunnier spots in the yard. I’ve been doing a little research into why this might be. It sounds like broccoli prefers full-sun locations, but can tolerate part-shade in warmer climates. Broccoli also, apparently, prefers very rich, but not-too-acidic soil with lots of boron.
I didn’t add any additional fertilizer to the bed this year, but it was fresh, good (I think) soil with lots of compost. The real issue (besides sunlight), I think, is that our soil is too acidic for the brassicas. Brassicas – according to the Oregon State Extension prefer soil with a pH between 6 and 7. Our soil pH is mostly likely less than 6. The hydrangeas in our yard tend to bloom blue, which indicates a low soil pH. It’s great for the blueberries, rhododendrons, and azaleas – not so great for brassicas. I didn’t plant any broccoli for the fall, but I planted cabbage, and I have some oyster shells that I can try to add to the soil around the cabbage to see if that helps.
I still harvested this tiny broccoli sprout. It was about to flower, so it was now or never.
I turned it into an omelet along with some kale and chives.