This is a very popular sprouting variety due to it being hardy and producing a high crop of purple spears in both early and late versions. The more you pick the more that will grow making this an excellent crop.
|When to sow
|Sow in February to March in trays or modules indoors, or outdoors from March onwards, undercover if necessary at first, until June. You can sow sprouting broccoli direct from mid-April to mid-May – towards the start of that window for early varieties and the end of it for late ones. Be mindful of weather conditions in your area.
|Where to Sow
|Sow in rows 2cm (3/4in) deep, 60cm (24in) between each seed and 60cm (24in) between each row.
|What to do Next
|Water sprouting broccoli plants regularly and do not allow them to dry out as this may impair their development. Protect the growing plants from pigeons and cabbage white butterfly (who lay their eggs on the plant) using fruit nets. As the plant grows larger you may need to build up soil around the base to give it more support.
|Nov to April. Sprouting broccoli can be harvested when the flower shoots are well developed but before the flowers have actually opened. Cutting the central spear will encourage side shoots to develop quickly. Timing is important, as once in flower, the shoots are woody and tasteless. The only problem with this vegetable is that it takes a year to mature.
|The more you pick the more that will grow. When you stop picking it will run to seed. Plants mature faster in warmer weather and may be quick to bolt therefore ensure well watered. Consider placing mulch around the base of the plant to keep the roots cool to further prevent the risk of bolting. Be sure to rotate your crops, as planting brassicas in the same ground more often than once every four years runs the risk of club root infestation which can take up to 10 years to eradicate.
|Try growing sprouting broccoli with Nasturtiums to draw cabbage white butterflies away from your crop, and mint (preferably in pots) to help deter flea beetles.
|A good source of vitamins A , C & Iron.
|Serve simply after lightly boiling (3 to 6 mins) or with knob of butter and seasoning or with garlic. Can also be stir fried until tender or eaten raw in salads. The Purple spears turn almost green when cooked. Sprouting broccoli can be frozen.
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