Yeah. Mmmmm, homegrown broccoli. So good. You should be able to tell when each bud on the crown is loose and somewhat separated. It's not going to grow much from there. I have heard matchstick size as a frame of reference for those little buds. After this year, you will have a good sense how large your variety gets.
Also, the leaves are good when they are young and tender.
Id just like to say.. if you have too much, I am ready/willing/able to take it off your hands! You inspire me.. and make me look forward to having my own garden one day!
Rhonda I harvested mine about a week ago. If it looks like the florets are about to bud on out and bloom you have just missed the best time, but you can still harvest it. Leave the stalks and let the smaller side shoots produce as much as they will :). I let my cauliflower go too long and lost it ...oh well...always next year!
The first time Anne grew it she was given the advice that hers would probably not be as large as what she would see in the grocery store and it would probably not have as many florets as the grocery products. They were right. The heads should be compact and have the form of a fresh "grocery store" sample. It takes very little time to steam fresh, small broccoli florets - and it tastes better than frozen. Side stems do develop at leaf nods and they are definitely much small than the main head - but quitetasty.
Good advice. And definitely make sure to eat the leaves as well. They are tasty!
You will know if you have waited too long because the pretty, yellow flowers will start to bloom. Cut it and eat it right away if you see flowers. They are really tiny, so watch closely. The side shoots will still turn into more florets.