How to grow Broccoli

Broccoli, Sprouting

This is another variety, italica, of Brassica oleracea. Both purple and white sprouting produce a profusion of
young shoots invaluable for prolonging
the supplies of winter greens. Purple sprouting is the most hardy and will
safely overwinter in most open situations. Young shoots may be produced for Christmas, but it is in March and April that the vegetable is most useful. White
sprouting is perhaps a little less strong in flavor, not so hardy and can only be
grown in sheltered gardens. The small curds which sprout forth in profusion are white instead of purple. Seed should be sown thinly in the open from the middle of April, in drills 6mm (1in) deep and 23cm (9in) apart. Thin seedlings when they are large enough to handle. Plant out in June or July 0.8m (2.5 ft) apart, in rows allowing lm (3ft) between the rows. This is a useful crop to plant in July after an early crop of potatoes. The ground must be in good heart, preferably well manured for the previous crop. Otherwise, dig in decayed manure or compost with the addition of extra phosphates and potash for example 85g (3oz) of superphosphate and 28g (1 oz) of sulphate of potash. Really firm ground will help to keep the plants upright through spells of severe weather, but it may be found necessary to draw soil towards the stems to give extra protection or even to stake the largest of the plants. Varieties are named by type, such as Early or Late Purple or White Sprouting.


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