Keeping broccoli fresh for a long time is not an easy task. This is a delicate vegetable that quickly deteriorates when storage is not followed. But still experienced gardeners can not only grow a wonderful crop of this vegetable, but also to extend its shelf life. In this article I would like to understand when it is better to cut broccoli and how to store it properly. We will also see interesting videos about growing and harvesting of many beloved cabbages.
The whole process of growing can simply go down the drain if you do not pick up the cabbage in time. And you should not collect any immature fruits, or overripe. It is especially difficult to guess readily heads, if broccoli is grown in the country, and there is no possibility to constantly monitor growth.
It is possible to determine that the time to collect the fruits has come by the following signs:
- Ripe broccoli has a diameter of at least 10 cm. You can focus on the size of your palm. Something like this and should be cabbage.
- You can determine the readiness and the color of the heads. Ripe broccoli has a dark green color. At this time, the buds are still closed. If you see that the buds begin to bloom and turn yellow, then there is no place to delay in harvesting. Sprouted cabbage loses its taste and is unsuitable for use in cooking. Even slightly yellowed fruits no longer have that attractiveness and exquisite taste.
- Full maturity usually occurs 2 months after the appearance of the first shoots. At this stage, each head should weigh at least 250 grams.
- As long as the temperature has not dropped below 0, the cabbage can safely remain in the garden. Broccoli are often harvested in late autumn. In each region, cabbage ripens in different periods.
The video below shows how and when to harvest the kaput broccoli.
How to collect broccoli
Fruit harvesting is as follows:
- The best time to pick fruit is early morning. In the scorching sun, cabbage will quickly fade.
- It is not necessary to tear up the cabbage from the root or tear the fruit. Only the head itself is cut off. So, back down about 10 cm from the head itself and cut the broccoli. In no case can not cut the stem, it will only damage the bush, which in the future can re-yield.
- You must have time to collect broccoli before the temperature drops below -2 ° C. Cabbage does not tolerate low temperatures and may just freeze. One night with little frosts and the harvest, you can say goodbye.
- When the main head is cut, side shoots will begin to actively grow. Since they are small, they grow pretty quickly. It is necessary to constantly monitor, in time to cut ripe cabbage. Usually, young shoots fully mature within 3 days. If the weather is overcast, then ready-made fruits can be expected no earlier than a week later. Fruits collected on time are much better stored. So, without missing a moment of ripening broccoli, you can get a tasty and healthy diet vegetable.
Attention! Early varieties of broccoli should be eaten immediately. Only late varieties collected in autumn are suitable for freezing and fresh storage.
Of course, every gardener would like to preserve his crop for a long time. That is why it is necessary to leave the base of the bush on the garden bed. After the main heading is cut off, new side shoots will appear on it. Thanks to this property, cabbage can be harvested from the garden several times.
Such cabbage is perfectly stored in the freezer for 6 months. Inflorescences should be divided and decomposed into vacuum or other packets intended for freezing. In the same way do with the main head. In the video below you can more clearly see how to freeze cabbage for the winter.Tip! Many gardeners harvested harvested food immediately, and the lateral freeze.
But not everyone knows how to properly freeze broccoli. This is done as follows:
- cabbage washed in cold water;
- then the heads of cabbage are cleaned of leaves and stiff parts of the stem;
- the head is divided into small inflorescences;
- saline solution is prepared (2 spoons of salt for 2 liters of water);
- inflorescences for half an hour soaked in the prepared solution. This is done so that the caterpillars and other insects get out of the cabbage;
- after 30 minutes, rinse the broccoli in water again;
- They put a large container on the stove and pour more than half of the water there. Turn on the fire and bring the water to a boil;
- after the water boils, prepared inflorescences are thrown there and kept in boiling water for at least 3 minutes;
- The cabbage is taken out of the pan using a colander and immersed in ice water for 5 minutes. If the water is not cold enough, you can throw ice there;
- broccoli is now taken out of the water and left in a colander to drain;
- further, the cabbage is Packed in special bags or containers. Air is released from the bags and is well tied;
- broccoli is completely ready to freeze.
Important! You can store such blanks in the freezer for a whole year. So you will burn for a long time to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
But, many gardeners want to keep broccoli fresh. This method of storage is also practiced, but the vegetables will not stand as long as in the freezer. Usually, ripe cabbage can stand no more than 5 days. Subject to all storage rules, this period will last up to a maximum of 15 days. This does not apply to damaged or diseased heads. In this case, an important role is played by the time of harvest. In time, the cut heads will be stored a little longer than the overripe. The video above shows how ripe cabbage should look.
It is best to store fresh cabbage in the refrigerator. To do this, there must be appropriate conditions:
- air humidity should be about 90%;
- temperature conditions not less than 0 and not more than + 10 ° C;
- No other vegetables or fruits should be placed in the broccoli box. Some of them have the ability to produce ethylene, which is bad for the quality of broccoli. Because of this substance, the cabbage begins to rot and deteriorates quickly.
To keep fresh broccoli, you must follow the instructions exactly:
- You must inspect the cabbages for insects and damage. In addition, the cabbage can be mold and dark spots. Because of this, the fruits quickly begin to deteriorate and rot.
- Wash vegetables before putting in the refrigerator is not necessary. This is done immediately before using cabbage.
- You can put the head in a plastic bag, but in no case can not close it. The fumes will remain inside the bag, which may cause the vegetable to mold.
- Humidity in the refrigerator must be at least 90%. If it is not enough, you can use the following technique. Wet paper towel is placed on the bottom of the box with vegetables. Then there should be put a bag of broccoli. This method allows you to extend the shelf life of cabbage. Now the vegetable will be stored in your refrigerator for at least 2 weeks.
It is better not to keep broccoli in the refrigerator for a long time. The longer the vegetable costs, the worse the taste will be. It is advised to cook cabbage within 4 days after harvest. If you do not have time to cook a vegetable, it is better to freeze the cabbage as described above.
So, we looked at how to clean and store broccoli. These are very important stages. Every gardener knows how difficult it is to keep broccoli fresh for a long time. These tips will help you not to make mistakes and cook dishes from independently grown vegetables all winter long. Also, do not forget to watch the video on the preparation of broccoli for the winter.