Seed for BROCCOLI or CALABRESE, & RAPINI
The logic to grouping these
To help you know when to sow and harvest, we've added a timetable under each one.
= main sowing = alternative sowing or extensions
~ HEADING BROCCOLI or CALABRESE~
Normal 120-day heading calabrese.
Order BrGH - 2g (lots and lots of seed - hundreds!) £1.87
There are two possibilities for sowing:
Of course, in reality, experienced gardeners will know that with all the brassica family, it can - to be honest - be a bit random when they do actually head up, as it depends so much upon temperature and daylength when they are small. But by sowing this one as well as the 'normal' type, you will extend your season, whenever that turns out to be!
'Quick' 60 day heading broccoli.
Order BrQH - 2g (lots and lots of seed - hundreds!) £1.49
~ Seed for PURPLE SPROUTING BROCCOLI ~
Purple Sprouting Broccoli
Early purple sprouting is sown in late spring one year, and then starts to produce from around the start of March the following year.
The nice big leaves are good to eat too, much as you would cook with cauliflower leaves.
Order BrEP - (at least 400 seed) £1.95
Unknown in the UK but easy to grow and loved on the continent. We introduced this in 2003 and it was a huge success. Everyone seemed to like it! Raab is related to turnip - but produces delicious sprouts like a slightly spicy flavoured sprouting broccoli.
Its real value is a harvest in late summer & autumn when ordinary broccoli isn't available, but is also great as a very early spring crop in a polytunnel. Thinnings are excellent in salads or stirfries.
Cima Di Rapa 'San Marzano' (60 days)
Sow early spring under cover, or mid to late summer for harvest in 50-60 days.
Spicy maincrop 'broccoli' derived from the Turnip family. Nice raw in salads or cooked.
Order BrSM - 2g seed (lots!) £1.79
'Kailaan' stem broccoli
The difference is that this has been selected for juicy, succulent stems rather than huge buds. The plants don't get as big as a calabrese plant, so you sow them a bit closer together.
It can be picked small (20 - 30 days old), taking whole plants at a time. Or from a summer sowing, you can leave it to grow larger (60 - 70 days), in which case you can get 3 cuts from it: take the main stem and it will grow new ones from the side-shoots.
A useful vegetable that can be sown after mid-summer or early spring to give a quick yield of juicy shoots that are cooked and used just like calabrese.
Order OvKL - approx 300 seed £1.82
Saving Your Own Vegetable Brassica Seed:
We would really like to encourage you to have a go at saving seed from brassica family - that's the cabbages, kales, oriental vegetables, broccoli and turnip family. We know many of you save obvious ones like tomato and lettuce seed, but we've noticed that in the past people shied away from doing the biennial vegetables (plants that flower in their second year).
More people are saving brassica seed now - and we'd like to encourage you to try it too: its incredibly easy, and you get so much seed, you'll have loads to give away. There's really no need for example to buy Kale seed from us every year at all. You just set aside a patch of good kale plants, and let them flower, making sure that you've got a reasonable number, that they are healthy, and that no other sorts are flowering nearby that might cross with them. You'll get lots of seeds in August.
Here's Kate processing some Pak Choi.
You do need to make sure they aren't crossed with anything,
Flower stalks from a good-sized population are hung
up to dry,
The bits of pod are screened out with a sieve or a soil riddle
Step-by-step instructions are here on our new brassica-seed-processing page.
It's pretty foolproof - why not give it a go?