Why has the broccoli this year had so many white florets? They look sickly....

Asked November 15, 2013, 5:24 PM EST

Why has the broccoli this year had so many white florets? They look sickly. Are the white florets edible? I've been cutting off the white florets which has resulted in a lot of wasted food. In many cases I've had to throw out half or more of a crown. The problem seems to have infected conventional and organic growers in all parts of the country. What is going on with this highly nutritious vegetable?

Lake County Ohio

1 Response

It might be nitrogen deficiency--one of the more common problems as broccoli is a heavy nitrogen feeder, Apply blood meal or a high nitrogen (but low phosphorus) fertilizer at planting and also when the main head emerges and after the main head is harvested.
There is also a white sprouting broccoli out there that is edible.
http://hcs.osu.edu/vpslab/sites/drupal-hcs-vpslab.web/files/Martin%20et%20al.pdf
Hope the information is helpful.