I'm in week three of the annual end-of-winter garden clean-up. Salvias have been pruned, weedy grasses have been dug up and tossed, bird-planted hackberries have been cut to the ground, henbit has been pulled. Now my attention turns to the veggie garden.
Beets, baby Romaine, spinach and garlic can stay,
but those headless broccoli plants have got to go! Time to make way for potatoes, peas and, before we know it, the Three Sisters: squash, beans and corn.
I'll leave a couple of flowering stems for the bees, then for seed.
Flowering winter vegetables are an important food source for bees between seasons.
Carol Ann Sayle at Boggy Creek Farm says broccoli leaves are edible, so this year I'm saving the small tender leaves to eat, along with the last of the side shoots. I plan to cook them like collard greens: after a quick blanch in boiling water, I'll drain, chop and sauté them in olive oil with lots of garlic and freshly ground black pepper.
The rest of it goes in the compost bin. Goodbye, broccoli, until next fall.
What's headed to your compost bin to make way for spring?
Words and photos © 2009-2014 Caroline Homer for "The Shovel-Ready Garden". Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.