GROWING PERFECT BROCCOLI

The term broccoli is now considered’ to be restricted to the overwintering crop which produces a succession of small curds from axillary shoots, from February to May. (Previously it included the leading cauliflower groups that covered the curd with leafy protection). There are three types of broccoli:

1. Purple Sprouting

This produces higher yields and is hardier than the

white type.

Early purple sprouting – harvest February/March?

Late purple sprouting – harvest April/May.

2. White Sprouting

This type produces heads like small cauliflowers. Early white – harvest March/April. Late white – harvest April/May.

3. Perennial Sprouting

Tall-growing type, which produces small green/white heads in- spring and summer. In successive years yield decreases and it may harbour overwintering pests and diseases like Brassica white fly and the mealy cabbage aphXd, and is therefore best replaced every three years.

Sowing

Sow as for cabbage. Sow early types in mid-April, followed by the late group in mid-May.

Planting

Planting as for cabbage, in June and July. Space the plants at 60 cm,(24 inch) in rows 60 cm (24 inch) apart.

Harvesting

Start to pick the spears when they have reached the size of large walnuts. Cut the central spear first, followed by the side shoots, which should be 7.5 – 10 cm (3 – 4 inch) -long. After harvesting rake in a general fertiliser. This will help the plant to produce more spears.

Pests and Diseases

As for other members of the Brassica family.

CALABRESE – green sprouting broccoli

This is an under-rated vegetable which produces spears from late June to the end of October.

Early Cultivars

‘Green Comet F1 ‘Express Corona Fl

Mid-Season Cultivars

Premium Crop F1 Green Duke’ F1 ‘Corvet’ Fl

Sowing

As for cabbage.

Spacing

15 cm (6 inch) apart in the row and 30 cm (12 inch) between rows.

Pests and Diseases

As for other Brassica crops.

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