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Sow outside
Plant outside
Showing schedule for Southern England in United Kingdom

Soil facts and preparation

Quick facts..

  • Soil Type Fertile and Well Drained
  • Ideal Ph range 6.0 to 7.5
  • Site Full Sun
Realistically an average family is only going to require 2 plants for a reasonable crop. Each plant requires about one square meter to grow, so pick a spot in full sun that is big enough. Soil should be rich in organic material so dig in plenty of well rotted manure a few months prior to sowing or planting.

Sowing and planting

Quick facts..

  • Germination 4 to 7 days
  • Sow 12mm deep
  • Sow Spacing 100mm
  • Rows 500mm apart
Seeds can be sown directly in the soil or started off in pots. Note that very careful transplanting is required, Broccoli plants are very susceptible to transplantation shock. Seeds are very small so be careful when watering after sowing as you could easily wash the seeds away.

Growing a bumper crop

The root system of the Broccoli plant is relatively shallow so it is important to keep the soil moist by watering regularly. The addition of mulch aids moisture retention. Thin out weaker seedlings and plants as they grow to leave an eventual spacing of about 1 meter. Prevent hungry birds from eating your crop by covering with netting. Feed with a liquid fertilizer before and after cutting the heads.

Harvesting the fruits of your labour

Quick facts..

  • Yield 510g per plant
Timing is key when harvesting Broccoli and Calabrese, leave it too long and the heads will flower and you will have missed your chance. Cut the main head with a sharp knife at the base of its stalk, this will encourage the production of new side shoots. You should get 4 to 6 cuttings during the harvestable period.

Your comments and photos

Broccoli, Calabrese varieties

Veronica Romanesco

Romanesco variety of broccoli with mild flavoured spiral lime green heads. Supperior taste and texture to traditional varieties and if lightly cooked, will retain its nutty flavor and unique texture. Veronica is an F1 variety resistant to discoloration. Romenesco varieties require a great deal of space and a long growing period and as such are not suitable for growing in containers. For the benefit of mathematicians and scientists, the rather alien looking heads are an example of a fractal pattern occuring in nature! A good choice for edible landscaping and a real talking point in the garden.