Courtesy Misty Conway

SacBee Garden

Published: Saturday, Apr. 6, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 7CALIFORNIA LIFE

Sacramento Bee readers share their gardening adventures.

In its first 10 days, our new SacBeeGarden Facebook page drew more than 300 "Likes." Thanks to everyone who "clicked" or stopped by for a look.

Our virtual garden spot already has stimulated some discussion and problem solving. One of those dilemmas for less-experienced gardeners: When are veggies ready to pick?

At SacBeeGarden, Misty Conway posted a photo of her first cauliflower with the query, "How do I know when it's ready to harvest?"

That's the most common cauliflower question, according to our experts. When the head grows to more than 4 inches across and stays tight, it's ready when you are.

Cauliflower should be picked before the florets begin to separate or the head changes color (which can make for bitter cauliflower). As the weather warms, both those risks escalate.

To get the head to grow a little more while staying sweet, "blanch" it by tying those big green outer leaves together to shade the curd (the white florets). That shade will let the head mature another week or two before harvest.

Conway decided sooner was better – and had cauliflower for dinner.


Do you have a gardening photo or story to share? Or do you want to publicize a community garden event or activity? Post your news via our virtual SacBee Garden at SacBeeGarden. Also, email your submissions to h& (put "SacBee Garden" in the subject line. Or mail it to: SacBee Garden, Home & Garden, Sacramento Bee, P.O. Box 15779, Sacramento, CA 95852. Follow us on Twitter@SacBeeGarden.

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