This is my first time growing broccolis. My broccolis started to have very small bluish head and then they started to get more yellow without getting "big enough" (as compared to the broccolis I have bought so far). Should I wait for them to grow further or just harvest them as small as they are?

I am in Chile, so we are in late winter here, the days are getting warm and sunny.

"Bluish but very small


Not too big but apparently flowering

2 Answers 2


You need to get them before they start to unbunch like the second picture as it's going into flower. The reasons you aren't getting large flowers are many, but probably not enough nutrients, or water in the ground. And since they're a cool season vegetable they tend to bolt like this in the heat.

You don't say where you are and it depends on location on what time to best plant them so that they don't bolt before they're ready for harvest.


  • I live in Chile, so the weather is getting warmer. This may be one of the causes Commented Aug 18, 2018 at 1:08
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    If you're just using compost as fertiliser then that's not enough. compost provides soil structure, and lot of the nitrogen is lost during the process of making compost. Add sheep pellets for gentle slow release biologic nutrients. Commented Aug 18, 2018 at 3:46

Yeah, these broccoli plants are 'bolting'. What fertilizer did you use? This is found when too much nitrogen is added, lots of vegetative growth and the reproductive growth bolts. OR, when there are a few too many days of drastic temperature changes, up or down, that will cause this 'bolting'.

The most common problem is too much nitrogen in relation to Phosphorous and Potassium. Adding raw compost for example.

Harvest when small, they will be delicious. Check your fertilizer program. What has been happening with your weather? What soil is in these raised beds? How were these raised beds made? What have you added in terms of compost, chemistry? I've never seen such healthy broccoli leaves...that tells me you've used too much nitrogen. Let me know okay?

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    You are right, we are having both many temperature changes and we have used only compost as fertilizer. So we will just eat them as they are. thanks! :). For the next season, what would be convenient to add as fertilizer besides of the compost? Commented Aug 18, 2018 at 1:10
  • Regarding the beds, they are made of recycled wood treated with linseed oil. We have added compost and leaf mould. No idea about the chemistry. I should learn about it. Commented Aug 18, 2018 at 1:19
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    Yes, balanced fertilizer is the key and compost is just for making great soil although you have to know what amount of fertilizer you've added with the compost. Compost is not fertilizer but needs to be considered in the fertilizer program. Not sure about the linseed oil I am sure it is decomposing as does anything once alive. Stuff that is not decomposed will use up Nitrogen while it is being decomposed. As everything once alive now dead has to go through. Temperature changes whether up or down will cause bolting. Plants that are told they are in environmental danger go to seed!
    – stormy
    Commented Aug 18, 2018 at 5:32
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    You need to do at least one soil test to get to know your soil and how to manage it. All soil is great soil. All soil is just tiny pieces of rock. Don't add fertilizer until your starts are on their 2 or 3rd set of leaves. Usually up potting from 1X2" to 3X3". Always use half the amount in the directions. I use Growilla...2-5-4 and watch my plants for deficiency and excess symptoms. Our artificial gardens, anything we want to grow on our time scale needs close attention to chemistry. Get a couple of pH testers. Send soil to your Coop. Extension Service!
    – stormy
    Commented Aug 18, 2018 at 5:37

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