Belonging to the brassica (cabbage family), broccoli plants are easier to grow than their cauliflower counterparts. From the familiar calabrese to the showy purple sprouting broccoli, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to the next addition to your vegetable patch.
Top Broccoli Plant Growing Facts
- Sprouting types are hardy
- Fills the gap between Brussels sprouts plants and spring cabbage plants
- Requires monitoring for disease, birds and caterpillars
Where To Grow Broccoli Plants
The day before planting, prepare and water the rows – about 8cm apart. Broccoli plants are heavy feeders and will benefit from a layer of compost before planting. Once you’ve received your broccoli, plant firmly, leaving about 45cm between white and purple sprouting broccoli plants and 15cm between green sprouting broccoli. Planting too closely will result in smaller, although still acceptable and tasty, heads. Then water the plants.
When To Plant Broccoli
Depending on the variety between March and June.
How To Look After Broccoli Plants
Your broccoli plants will put on rapid leaf growth with the development of the edible broccoli head following in 3-4 months. Feed the plants with a balanced fertiliser each week and do water regularly although reduce watering as the heads begin to mature.
Broccoli plants are hardy but can be susceptible to disease, so seasonal crop rotation is important. To reduce the risk of disease make sure there is good airflow and maximum possible sunlight. Pigeons can be a problem and so you may need to give your broccoli plants protection, but please check any netting very regularly so that no birds become trapped.
When To Harvest Broccoli Plants
The time to harvest is when the spears are well-formed but the flower buds have not yet opened. This is usually from February to April. Regular picking will encourage new spears to form. With calabrese, cut the central head from August to October. Side shoots will be produced, which can be picked regularly and enjoyed in dishes with your cabbage and potatoes.
How To Eat Broccoli
Eat your broccoli as soon as possible after picking; however, it will also freeze well and will stay fresh in a bag in the freezer for up to 3 days. Broccoli can be steamed, boiled, braised or even dipped in batter and fried.
Broccoli Nutritional Information
Broccoli is very low in calories, just 34 calories per 100g. This might be because it is around 90% water! However, you’ll also find an especially high percentage of vitamin C, as well as vitamin A, B6 and potassium.
You may also be interested in Suttons broccoli seeds and other popular vegetable plants.
Buy Broccoli plants UK from Suttons