Broccoli has had a resurgence in popularity – for its high vitamin content and anti-cancer agents. It is a fast-growing and easy-to-grow crop, producing bluish-green heads that are harvested in the summer or autumn, depending on the time it is sown. The sprouting types – white or purple sprouting – are hardy and overwintered for harvest in spring, filling the gap between sprouts and spring cabbage.
Broccoli prefers fertile, well-drained, moisture-retentive soil.
Sow April to July
When the young broccoli plants are 10-15cm (4-6in) high transplant indoor grown plants to their growing positions, leaving 45cm (18in) between them. Before lifting the plants, water them well and water well again after transplanting.
Thin directly-sown broccoli to 30cm (1ft) apart.
Water every 10-14 days in dry periods. Add high nitrogen fertiliser, such as sulphate of ammonia, at 35g (1oz) per square metre/yard when plants about 20cm (8in) tall.
Cut when the flower shoots (spears) are well formed but before the individual flowers begin to open. Cut the central spear first. This is followed by a series of sideshoots, which can be picked regularly over four to six weeks.
ie: Brussels Sprouts and Cabbages
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