Monday 12 October 2020

In My Seed Box For 2021 - Broccoli


Broccoli belongs to the cruciferous vegetable family, which includes kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, cabbage, collard greens, rutabaga, and turnips. ... If you are trying to eat healthier, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli should be at the very top of your grocery 

That being said I've had a somewhat chequered history growing Broccoli as it you take your eye off it for a moment and it's a dry warm summer it bolts. For that reason and the lack of space I have favoured other vegetables over the last few years so what I have in my Seed Box is little and old. The average life of Broccoli seed is 5-8 years if kept in favourable conditions  

Zippy Bags (Opened Packs)

Autumn Calabrese - Unwins - Best before 2015 in a Zippy bag 
Stromboli F1          - Suttons - Best before 06/2016 in an unopened packet 

Unopened Packs 

Autumn Calabrese - Seeds 100 - £         - Grow Your Own Magazine -  Sow By 2021
New! Purple Rain   - Seeds   40 - £ 2.99 - Mr Fothergill's - Sow By 12/2024  

Broccoli (Sprouting) Purple Rain F1 - Normally I grow the more traditional varieties of Broccoli and we love to have it with a Sunday or any other day roast dinner. I don't normally have problems growing broccoli, I do however sometimes have trouble catching it at the right time to harvest, especially being a carer and not being able to get down the the allotment as frequently as I would like. 

According to the web site this variety is "extremely productive, it will continue to produce fresh young, deeply coloured spears for weeks on end which taste tender. Plants have good heat tolerance and are slow to bolt", which if 2021 is anything like the last couple of years will be useful. 

Sowing/Planting and Flowering/Harvesting Guide


Key       Sow Indoors       Sow/Plant Outside       Flowers/Harvest

Sow indoors: January-March, 1.5cm(1/2") deep in pots or trays of seed compost. Keep moist and warm. Transplant to final position when approx. 10cm(4") tall. Gradually accustom young plants to outside conditions (avoid frosts) before planting out 60cm(24") apart.

Harvest: July-November. Pick the young shoots regularly to be sure of getting the best flavour and to encourage further cropping.

Growing in 2021 
As I have additional space on Plot 1 I will be growing Broccoli again this year.  I will see what germination rate I get from the two packs dates 2015 & 2016 first and if not good I will use the two unopened packs of seeds.  I may even grow all four varieties.  

Autumn Calabrese 

Sow Indoors          - March - June 
Sow Outdoors       - April - June 
Harvest                 - July October

  • Outstanding Summer/Autumn variety
  • Smooth, domed, heads with medium beads 
  • Plenty of sideshoot production once central head is cut

Germination: 5 - 10 Days 
Plant Height: 450mm
Prefered Position: Full Sun

Sowing Instructions

Sow thinly in a well-prepared seed bed from April to June at a depth of 13mm in rows 300mm apart. Alternatively sow in pots or a seed tray of good seed compost and cover with 6mm of compost or vermiculite at a minimum of 15C until germination that takes around 7 days. 

Growing Instructions 

Thin seeds to 100mm apart when large enough to handle. Transplant to their final positions around 5 weeks later when the seedlings have four or five leaves at a distance of 500mm apart, and cover with a protective netting or fleece. For indoor sowings, at first leaf stage , prick out into individual cell trays or 75mm pots.

UPDATE Dec 2020

New Broccoli Purple Rain - Dobies - 20 Seeds - Cost £2.99

New Broccoli Gemini F1 - Dobies - 25 Seeds - Cost £2.99

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