Broccoli Purple Sprouting Early is a sprouting broccoli variety and in contrast to other broccoli varieties it's harvested in the second year after sowing. It's very easy to grow and has a very attractive and unusual colour. It has small purple heads and soft, green leaves with purple vains and a purple stem. The heads of this variety are much smaller than the heads of other broccoli varieties. This hardy plant can grow up to a large size and it needs a very sturdy support. You can harvest this variety in mild winters in the early spring from March till April in the year after sowing. The purple colour vanishes during cooking.
Broccoli is a very healthy and versatile vegetable. Broccoli contains a.o.: vitamin C, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B11, A and E. And the minerals: manganese, potassium, phosphor, magnesium, selenium, zinc, iron, molybdenum and calcium. It contains also a lot of crude fibres, the amino acid tryptophane and very little calories and fat. You can cook, stir-fry, bake, use it in casseroles, grill, roast, deep-fry, steam and stew broccoli or use it raw as starter and healthy snack. Add some broccoli to soups, pasta sauces, on pizzas and in mixed vegetable dishes. Broccoli is delicious in combination with: cheese, garlic, pasta, onions, potatoes, olives, eggs, salmon, nuts, rice, basil, soy sauce, tuna fish, beef, pork, minced meat, oregano, apple, cod fish and vegetables like: cauliflower, tomatoes, carrots, leek, sweet pepper, lettuce, courgette, sugar peas and French beans. This plant needs a very sturdy support. Hardy biennial.
Brassica oleracea var. Italica
Outdoor sowing under glass: middle of May - middle of June
Germination: 7 - 14 days
Germination temp.: 10 - 20 °C
Sowing depth.: ½ - 1 cm
Transplanting outdoors: July - August
Distance between rows: 70 cm
Plant distance: 70 cm
Plant position: sunny - half shade
Harvest period: March - April
These are the sowing instructions for Sprouting Broccoli. Because broccoli is a cabbage variety it needs, like all other cabbage varieties, a lot of manure. Apply a generous ammount of compost to the soil and dig this through, about 1 - 2 months, before you start with sowing. Enrich the soil with some blood- and bone meal, 2 weeks before you sow.
Sow outdoors under glass from the middle of May - the middle of June. Sow in separate pots filled with moist potting soil. Sow sparingly and cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil. Broccoli is a light germinator. Put the pots away somewhere warm and light. Keep the temperature as even as possible and don't let the temperature drop during the night. Keep moist.
Put the seedlings outdoors in the soil from the beginning of July till the end of August on a sunny plot with half shade. Water regularly. Keep the soil around the plants weedfree. Don't let the plants dry out and water extra during dry spells. Provide extra manure, when needed, by giving the plants some cowshed manure or blood- and bone meal. Give the plants a very sturdy support and tie them in to prevent the plants from falling on the ground due to heavy wind. Cover the plants with nets to protect them against birds especialy during the winter months. Use a cabbage collar on the base of the young plants, to prevent the cabbage fly from laying it's eggs, because the larvae eat the roots of the plants. The seedlings and plants also need protection against slugs and snails.
Sprouting broccoli is a biennial and is harvested, after overwintering in the soil, in the year after sowing. From March till April. You can keep broccoli fresh in the crisper compartment of the fridge for a couple of days.