One of the most rewarding and economical vegetables you can grow, Green Calabrese will crop from late summer right through autumn, producing densely packed clusters of deep bluish-green buds of up to 15cm (6in) diameter atop thick, tender stems and rich green leaves that are just as good to eat. Harvesting the broccoli heads will encourage further florets to grow lower down the stem – a great cut-and-come-again vegetable!
With a milder, more subtle flavour than sprouting broccoli, ‘Green Calabrese’ makes a colourful and tasty ingredient whether prepared raw for salads or dips, or steamed, boiled or stir-fried. It makes great soup, too – an ideal way of using up any leftover stems and leaves. Excess crops will freeze well, so you can enjoy this versatile veg through the winter, long after its generous season has finished.
Commonly regarded as a ‘superfood’, all parts of the plant are highly nutritious – a great source of fibre and protein, as well as vitamins and minerals. The leaves hold the highest levels of antioxidants and vitamins, and the stalks contain the most fibre – far too good to waste!
Easy to grow, broccoli will thrive in an open, sunny position in fertile, well draining, moisture-retentive soil. Ideally, dig in some well-rotted manure into the growing site in the autumn before sowing. There is no need to dig over the soil too much immediately before planting as undisturbed soil offers a firm roothold for brassicas and will help them establish quickly and well. Successive sowing will extend the cropping season. Fast-growing, they will reach a mature height of up to 60cm (24in).
Supplied as a packet of 200 (approx.) seeds ready to sow either indoors from March to May (for planting out May–June), or outdoors from March to May directly into their growing position. Harvest from September to November.
How to grow Broccoli