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Sowing
  • Pick an area that is sunny or partially shaded.
  • Fork in well rotted compost.
  • Sow green broccoli under cover from March to April and outside from May to June.
  • Plant seeds as thinly as possible about 1/4" deep. Before planting make sure that soil has been deeply dug. For best results sow in final maturing area as broccoli does not like being transplanted.

Preparing your Seedlings

  • In early spring rake over and level an area to use as a seed be.
  • Cover the bed with sifted mature compost or poultry pellets.
  • Firm the bed and give it a light rake.
  • Make shallow drills with a trowel or the edge of a hoe roughly half an inch deep and 6 inches apart.
  • Lay the seeds thinly into the drills and cover them over with soil, carefully cover the drills back over with soil and firm the bed.
  • Keep the seed bed moist, always using a very light spray. Be sure not to overwater.
  • When the Broccoli plants are about an inch tall, thin the seedlings to about 3 inches apart in their rows. This will stop overcrowding which could lead to your seedlings becoming weak.
  • When your seedlings reach roughly 5 inches they are ready to plant out.
  • Water your seedlings the day before you plan to move them.

Planting Out your Seedlings

  • Prepare your soil during the winter by digging in plenty of well rotted manure or if you don't have access to manure use poultry pellets.
  • Level off the bed and ensure it is weed free.
  • You should plant out your Broccoli during early morning or evening, as it will be cooler and less stressful on the plant.
  • Keep as much soil around the roots as you can.
  • Use two stakes with string stretched between them to form a straight line.
  • Dig a hole slightly larger than the root ball of each plant, this will allow it proper room to develop.
  • Leave a gap of 12 inches between each hole.
  • Remove and plant one Broccoli plant at a time, never leave your plants sitting out in the sun waiting as it will dry out the roots.
  • Plant the seedlings to just below the two lowest leaves.
  • Carefully replace the soil around the plant and firm into place.
Growing
  • As with most brassicas, avoid slug attack with regular use of slug pellets especially in early stages.
  • Broccoli is also susceptible to attack from aphids and caterpillars.
  • Make sure soil is kept moist in dry periods
  • Carefully hoe around the plants to keep weeds down.
Harvesting
  • Calabrese takes approximately 12-14 weeks to mature, so depending on sowing time, harvest will take place from August onwards.
  • When cutting remove main bud first and allow plant to continue to produce further side-shoots.
  • Make sure to cut all buds when they are still tight. If left on the plant buds will open to a yellow flower and will taste very bad.