Monday 20 September 2021

In My Seed Box For 2022 - 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 list.

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 was in my Seed Box was a little and old. The average life of Broccoli seed is 5-8 years if kept in favourable conditions, however I have discarded the old seed in favour of New Varieties released for 2021 and 2022 four from Dobies and one pack from Mr Fothergill's

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 allotment as frequently as I would like.

New for 2022 Mr Fothergills - White Sprouting Burbank F1. - 150 Seeds - £3.10

An exciting, unusual sprouting broccoli. Burbank F1 is the first British bred F1 white sprouting broccoli. 

The plants are strong and vigorous, producing high yields of attractive snowy white spears. 

Crops are extremely tasty and succulent throughout the spring, when other vegetable harvests are scarce

The graphic is a little misleading as the harvest is in year 2 and it should make that more clear, the web site graphic is even worse and does not include any planting out. I have sent feedback too Mr Fothergill's re this.

New for 2022 Suttons  15 21 46 -  Blue Finn F1 - 20 seeds - £3.49 non members  

This classic-looking variety of broccoli is compact in shape and boasts productive plants reaching around 30-45cm tall. If you grow this crop from seed, it will supply a great number of dense florets, weighing up to 500g while remaining tight and full of flavour. 'Blue Finn F1' will not be growing hollow stems but are early maturing and can be harvested from 4 months (June-Sept) from successional sowing.

This variety will create multiple small spears once the main head is harvested, hopeful for another abundance of florets to grow again. When harvested, this kind of broccoli is great for eating raw in salads, or equally, tastes fantastic when boiled or roasted. 

Sow thinly direct into a finely raked seedbed at a depth of 13mm (½"). 

Germination 7-14 days. 

Transplant when large enough to handle leaving 38cm (15") between plants both ways. Alternatively, the seed can be started in modules/trays in a cold frame or cold greenhouse and planted out after the last frosts. Protect with netting to avoid butterfly attack. After harvesting the main head, side shoots will be produced within several weeks.

If I'm going to subject the family to Purple Broccoli in 2022, I better grow some traditional classic looking Green Broccoli as well. 

New for 2022 Dobies 43 26 64 - Broccoli (Sprouting) Santee F1 - 25 seeds - £2.99 non members  

Santee is the summer/autumn cropping Purple Sprouting Broccoli! 

Massive crops for almost 6 months, left to overwinter you'll be rewarded with more spears in spring. One of the quickest to grow and crop, with superb flavour, very productive and quick. Makes an amazing addition to a stir-fry or steamed. 

Sow into a prepared seedbed March - June in rows at a depth of 10mm and 300mm (12") between rows. 

Germination 7 - 14 days.

Transfer into final positions approximately 6 weeks from sowing. 

Alternatively, sow in a propagator and cover with a sprinkling of vermiculite, At a temperature of 21 degrees C (70F) Transfer into 75mm (3") pots and grow on. Acclimatise to outdoor conditions before planting out 

Apply lime to acidic soils to reduce the risk of clubroot.   

Harvest Jun-Mid Nov/Feb-Mid March.

New for 2022 Dobies 43 26 16 - Broccoli (Stem) Hirzia F1 - 20 seeds - £2.99 non members  

Why wait until spring for sprouting broccoli? Hirzia will crop from July and produce the main head like regular broccoli, which then splits into spears! Hirzia F1 will provide smaller, compact plants 40-50cm. Dark green after cooking, excellent taste, perfect for using raw with dips and salads. 

Sow thinly (March-June) direct into a finely raked, warm, moist seedbed at a depth of 13mm (1/2") Transplanting subsequent plants with a trowel or dibber when large enough to handle, allowing 300mm (12") between plants. Water well during spells of dry weather.   

Alternatively, sow under cover in trays of cell packs and transplant to where they are to crop after the last frost. 
Harvest Late July-Oct.

To retain maximum vitamin content cook by steaming. 

New in 2021 Dobies - 43 25 19 - Broccoli (Sprouting) Purple Rain F1 - 20 Seeds £2.99

Months of great flavoured, nutritious purple spears!

Purple Rain is a British bred, purple-headed stem broccoli, producing a delicious crop from the summer well into the autumn. The main head can be harvested as single broccoli or left to split and form long spears like purple sprouting broccoli. Producing compact broccoli plants compared to purple sprouting broccoli, it is, therefore, better for exposed sites. Easy to grow, it is an exceptionally rewarding brassica and the perfect addition to any home vegetable patch or allotment.

Sow March - June directly into a finely raked seedbed at a dpth of 13mm (1/2") 

Germination 7 - 14 Days 

Transplant when large enough to handle leaving 380mm (15") between plants both ways. Alternatively, the seeds can be started in Modules/ trays in a cold frame or cold greenhouse and planted out after the last frost.

Protect with netting to avoid butterfly attack. 

Sowing to cropping: 16 - 18 weeks.

Cropping months before purple sprouting broccoli, you will harvest Purple Rain from July through to November. Giving you plenty of time to add this gorgeous vegetable to your favourite summer and autumnal recipes. Add a splash of colour to bed and borders or raised beds. 

Height 51-60 (20-24"); spread 41-50cm (16-20").

New in 2021 BEST VALUE in terms of quantity of seeds per £ – Mr Fothergills - 33273 - Broccoli (Sprouting)Purple Rain F1 - 40 Seeds £2.99   

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













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 600mm(24") apart.

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

New in 2021 Dobies - 43 25 17 - Broccoli Gemini F1 - 25 Seeds - £2.99

One of the fastest varieties to crop. Sowing to harvest in just 80 days!

Broccoli Seeds - Gemini F1 is one of the fastest broccoli varieties to crop. You can be enjoying Broccoli Gemini F1 just 80 days after sowing! With florets weighing 300–500g each, there will be plenty of broccoli to go around once harvest comes, and once the main head has been harvested, side shoots can also be picked and eaten too. 

The Broccoli Seeds - Gemini F1 has a good resistance to disease and produces an attractive rich green dome shape. Perfect to fill your vegetable patch with this season. 

Cook Broccoli Gemini F1 into your meals or eat it raw for a flavoursome and crunchy snack.

Sow March - May thinly direct into finely raked seedbed at a depth of 13mm  1/2 "  

Germination 7 - 14 Days 

Transplant when large enough to handle leaving 380mm (15") between plants both ways. 

Alternatively the seed can be started in modules/trays in a cold frame or cold greenhouse and planted out after the last frost. 

Protect with netting to avoid butterfly attack. 

Once established, Broccoli Seeds - Gemini F1 grows to a height of 41–50cm (16–20"); spread 41–50cm (16–20"). Sowing to cropping 18 weeks. 

With a harvest period between July–mid-November you can enjoy Broccoli Seeds - Gemini F1 for a while. After harvesting the main head, side shoots will be produced within several weeks. 

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