Harvesting. In general, broccoli plants can be harvested two or three times or for a period of up to three months. Once cut, the plant will produce smaller side heads for several weeks. Broccoli should be harvested when the heads are small, tight and firm.
How do you know when to harvest broccoli?
Harvest in the morning before the soil warms up for best flavor. Leave 2-3 inches of the main stem on the plant. Cut with sharp scissors or a knife to avoid damaging the stem. The side shoots that grow are likely to form more open or spreading heads than the central stem, but they're every bit as tasty.
How can you tell when broccoli is ready to harvest?
In terms of timing: Harvest broccoli when the buds of the head are firm and tight before the heads flower. If you do see yellow petals, harvest immediately. For best taste, harvest in the morning before the soil heats up. Cut heads from the plant, taking at least 6 inches of stem.