Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Broccoli and Gai Lan

This is my first year growing both Broccoli and Gai Lan (Chinese kale). I guess I didn't realize that gai lan gets so big. My plant's leaves are huge! It's amazing how similar growing habits they both have.
Gai Lan

Even their "heads" are very similar. The broccoli heads are tighter and a darker green.


Gai Lan

Both plants have large leaves and are very wide across. Allow for plenty of room. I made the mistake of planting mine too closely.

Broccoli leaves: 10 inches long and 7 inches wide

Broccoli plant width: at least 24 inches across

Gai Lan leaves: 13 inches long x 10 inches wide

Gai Lan plant width: at least 19 inches

The payoff though has to be the beautiful harvests. Gai lan on the left and broccoli on the right.


the red headed traveler said...

Wow, they are massive! I've never seen gai len before but that's neat how much it resembles broccoli.

Charmcitybalconygarden said...

Beautiful! Can you eat those leaves too?

Mac said...

Good comparison, I never tried to measure them.

Meadowsweet Cottage said...

Is gai lan a cole crop too? They all resemble each other so strongly. Color is how I usually differentiate too. How's the taste?


Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Nice harvest. Now I wish our gai lan will grow up fast.

debbie said...

wow they are simular! never would have noticed!
great blog!

~Holly~ said...

the red headed traveler: Yeah they are huge plants! I knew they would be big but I was still shocked to find out that the leaves were ginormous!

charmcitybalconygarden: I believe all parts of the plant are edible. Gai lan is usually grown for the stems and flowering heads. I didn't keep the large leaves. I composted them. I have lots of greens from the garden but would have added them to my stirfry otherwise.

mac-Thanks! The boring measurements were more for my recordkeeping. It's also to remind me how huge the leaves and plants get. I didn't allow for enough space at all this season! Next season they'll be better spaced!

~Holly~ said...

meadowsweet cottage: It is a cole crop and referred to as Chinese Broccoli or Chinese Kale. They look very similar. The gai lan is harvested for the sweet stems and flowering heads. They're delicious!

MKG:Yours will be ready for harvest soon!

debbie: Thanks!! Thanks for visiting too!

sakinah~ said...

Thank you for making this article! I've been growing broccoli and kailan, and got the two complete mixed up and the labels faded. Now I know how to differentiate them haha.. thanks!