June 7, 1996

Harvesting the Cole Crops

Vegetables must be harvested at the proper stage of maturity in order to obtain the highest quality produce. The harvest and storage recommendations for broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage are listed below.


Broccoli should be harvested when the head is fully developed, but before the small yellow flower buds start to open. At harvest, the terminal head should be tight, blue-green, and approximately 6 to 7 inches in diameter. Several smaller side heads (about 1 to 3 inches across) will develop in the axils of the leaves after the central head is removed.

Lilac Problems

Bacterial blight of lilac is caused by the bacterium Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae. Several samples showing the presence of this disease have been recently received in the Plant Disease Clinic. Initial symptoms include brown, water-soaked spots on leaves. These spots usually enlarge and coalesce, often causing leaves to become misshapened. Eventually leaves may be killed. When the infection spreads around a twig, it becomes girdled and dies. This phase of the disease is evident as young new shoots develop in the spring. Shoots turn a black color, droop over, and die.

Polyploid Lilies

Chromosomes, present in plant cells, carry the genes that convey hereditary characteristics. Each plant species has a certain number of chromosomes in each of its cells. For lilies that number is 24, 12 from the female parent and 12 from the male parent. This number is constant and lilies with this number of chromosomes are referred to as diploid. Sometimes, through an accident in nature or through human intervention, lilies appear which have more chromosomes than normal.