The Ultimate Guide to Growing Calabrese Broccoli

Calabrese broccoli is known for being rich in nutrients and what can be better than home-grown broccoli that you can be proud of. Many people love it fresh, whereas some prefer to stir fry their broccoli before consuming this nutrient-rich delight. It is not as hard to grow broccoli as many people consider it to be. Following a few simple steps would help you grow this nutrient-rich delight right in your backyard.

Broccoli growing

©Thompson & Morgan – It is not as hard to grow broccoli as many people consider it to be!

Sowing

Broccoli seeds must be sown in from March to July. To enjoy the continuous flow of homegrown broccoli, you can sow a few plants every month from April to July.

Calabrese broccoli is not a fan of root disturbance. Hence a modular seed tray can be the perfect choice to start your seeds. Fill the tray with compost and remove any excess soil. Now create a depression in the soil using your fingertip and sow 1 seed per module. After this, cover your seeds with another layer of soil and brush off the excess to make sure the seed is properly covered.

Once you are done with the sowing of seeds, water the soil gently, to avoid disturbance of the soil. The tray can now be placed in a polytunnel, windowsill, cold frame, or your greenhouse. The seeds must be ready to be planted out in about 5 weeks. Once this process of is complete, you can move on to the planting step.

Planting Out

Vegetable gardening is most successful if you take care to choose the right position for your crops. Calabrese broccoli is a sun-loving crop. Choose a location in your garden that has six to eight hours of direct sunlight per day. The young plants must be transplanted at a distance of 45cm to 65cm apart to allow the plants to develop, and impress your neighbours.

young broccoli plant

©Shutterstock – Choose a location in your garden that has six to eight hours of direct sunlight per day. 

To plant the seedling, use a trowel to dig a small hole in the soil a little larger than the “plug plant”.  Once you have successfully planted the seedling, use your fingers to carefully press the soil back around the roots. Now gently water around the plant to settle the soil.  

Watering

The plant must be watered frequently as broccoli loves moisture to grow. However, make sure the soil does not turn soggy due to constant watering; otherwise, it would hamper the plant’s growth. Investing in a decent hosepipe can be a useful addition to your vegetable plot to save you time and effort.

watering brassicas

©Shutterstock – Keep Broccoli plants well watered.

Harvesting

This is one of the most critical parts of growing broccoli. If you miss the correct timing of harvesting your broccoli, then the heads will go to seed and be inedible.

Depending on the month of sowing and overall weather conditions, your Calabrese should be ready to harvest between July and October. Once the heads are four to seven inches with dense and tight flower buds, it is the right time to harvest your broccoli. If you notice that the flower buds are starting to open, then harvest immediately without any further delay.

Don’t panic if you end up with too much Broccoli all at the same time. If you have too much then the spare heads can be frozen and used later.

Cooked Broccoli

©Shutterstock – Broccoli makes a tasty and nutritious side dish.

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