How to Grow Broccoli
Growing Sprouting Broccoli
An invaluable spring vegetable and one of the first to be ready after the winter. The plants are very large and require support during the winter. About ten plants should be adequate for an average family.
No special needs, except that heavier soils are preferred. These allow the plants to grow large, but at the same time sturdy.
2-3 lb (0.9-1.4kg) per plant, depending on their size.
Time from Sowing to harvest
About a year
Purple sprouting and white sprouting. Early and late variations exist but the difference is insignificant.
Outdoors in April in nursery rows half an inch deep.
Late May to early June. Plant firmly with a dibber, allowing 24-30in (60-75cm) between plants, the greater distance for the earlier plantings. This apparently wide and wasteful spacing is because it leads to stocky and sturdy plants that are less likely to be blown over. Closer planting can draw the plants upwards too much. The plants will still need support. After transplanting, the ground between the young plants can still be used either for a salad crop or for subsequent sowings of, such as spring cabbage.
Water after planting and keep the weeds down. Support with canes when the plants are about 2ft (60cm) tall, well before the winter.
Pests and diseases
As for. Especially susceptible to pigeons.
Start picking the closed flower heads as soon as they are large enough. Keep picking to encourage the formation of more. Don’t be frightened of a glut, as sprouting broccoli freezes very well. Picking should stop when the heads become small and the flowers start to grow yellow. This, therefore, is also the time to pull up the plants and compost them. I find it an excellent job for my quiet shredder to chop up the tough, woody, stems.Very satisfying.