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Purple Sprouting Broccoli

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Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Post  miinva on 2/20/2011, 9:06 pm

Has anyone grown purple sprouting broccoli? I know it's been mentioned, but the search didn't find a previous thread about it so I thought I'd ask. I bought some seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds because it's beautiful, whether I get to eat it or not Very Happy

Here's a picture I found online...


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RE: Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Post  Goosegirl on 2/20/2011, 9:29 pm

Holy Schmacks! Those are TREES!
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Re: Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Post  miinva on 2/20/2011, 9:34 pm

I'll be giddy if I get broccoli like that! I'm going to have to build the Fort Knox of insect barriers though, because it's a brassica and LOTS of things happily devour brassicas. Yet another crop I would like a 1 or 2 by 6 SFG for...

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Re: Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Post  Goosegirl on 2/20/2011, 9:37 pm

I am trying broccoli for the first time in SD - but because we are still covered in snow I can't even think about starting it in the house for several more weeks!
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Re: Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Post  janefss2002 on 2/20/2011, 11:03 pm

OMG Shocked Shocked

I just planted today my transplants of this today! I had no idea Embarassed

I planted 2x squares only. WOW! If we grow it bigger in Texas, then, um!

I should have payed more attention to the fine print.

Jane
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Re: Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Post  miinva on 2/20/2011, 11:11 pm

I think someone has mentioned it, but I can't find it with the search feature. I'm hoping to hear some war stories! *giggle*

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Re: Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Post  chocolatepop on 2/21/2011, 1:46 am

I planted one last year and it indeed got large! Well not the broccoli itself, but the leaves and plant!
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RE: Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Post  Goosegirl on 2/21/2011, 7:35 am

@janefss2002 wrote:OMG Shocked Shocked

I just planted today my transplants of this today! I had no idea Embarassed

I planted 2x squares only. WOW! If we grow it bigger in Texas, then, um!

I should have payed more attention to the fine print.

Jane

Coming soon to theaters near you: "The Broccoli That Ate Texas"
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Sprouting broccoli

Post  ander217 on 2/21/2011, 7:57 am

Is this regular broccoli or a form of broccoli rabe or rapini?

I bought some rapini from Baker Creek, but when I went online last night to see when to plant it the recommendations were all over the place from, "grow transplants inside" to "never grow inside, direct seed only" to "plant in early spring as soon as possible" to "wait until late spring" to "should be grown as a fall crop". Apparently anything you do makes it bolt. One site said to cut it regularly and it keeps coming back, while another site said to cut the entire plant at once because it won't come back. Arghhh!
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Re: Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Post  miinva on 2/21/2011, 6:26 pm

Did you get much broccoli, chocolatepop? I don't mind small heads, I'm just wondering how much broccoli they'll produce. Are the leaves edible?

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Re: Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Post  miinva on 2/21/2011, 6:27 pm

I forgot to mention, I tried rapini and didn't have great results, so I surely don't know the trick to it Smile

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Re: Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Post  Megan on 2/21/2011, 6:36 pm

@miinva wrote:I forgot to mention, I tried rapini and didn't have great results, so I surely don't know the trick to it Smile

Huh. I stuck some rapini (broccoli raab) seeds in the ground, left them alone, and got this at the start of June (note the bolting baby bok choy):


And having posted these photos, I've probably jinxed myself for this year, ack!!

I think I took the whole plant rather than try cut-come-again, under the rationale that the greens would cook down...which they did. Might be worth a try if you can grow a big enough box of it, though.

The leaves are delicious. I got a lot more leaves than mini-heads compared to the rapini I've seen in a grocery store, and the leaves were a LOT bigger, but even the big leaves were tender. I far prefer the home-grown sort!
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Re: Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Post  miinva on 2/21/2011, 7:22 pm

The seed I bought is at http://rareseeds.com/early-purple-sprouting-broccoli.html , which includes the following comments:


Review by Unknown
Overall Rating

Good for tasty, early veggies in mild winter areas. Perfect for the pacific coast and certain areas in the south and atlantic coast. Plant in Late July, early August for harvest in March-May in the pacific northwest. Needs staking for fall/winter winds. Eat the heads and leaves..

(Posted on 12/1/09)

Disappointing Space to Yield Ratio Review by Unknown
Overall Rating

It produces beautiful and tasty florets after overwintering, but I've been disappointed with the yield. I can't justify the space it takes for the total return. If space is not a problem for you then no worries..

(Posted on 6/4/10)

Good Broccoli Review by Wncliz
Overall Rating

This broccoli is very flavorful. Much tastier than the grocery store variety. Just don't plant it in the spring and expect it to do very well. I tried and was very disapointed. I tried again in the fall and had excellent results the following spring. This variety needs to overwinter so that it is harvested in the spring. My zone is 7b so some zones might be a little different. This variety was worth waiting for. It was great to get great broccoli early. I am growing it again this year, and can't wait another month or so to start harvesting..

(Posted on 2/6/11)

It appears the leaves are edible too, and that it's a better fall crop in warm climates. I wonder how it will do in northern climates?

Reimer seeds says it's Brassica oleracea and that it takes 60 days. Rapini appears to be Brassica rapa, so they aren't the same. Reimer seed has two different varieties of rapini, one for spring and one for fall. Who knew? Smile

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Re: Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Post  miinva on 3/16/2011, 10:42 pm

I was looking around the web for information about this broccoli and I found an article about growing it at http://www.cottagesmallholder.com/home-grown-purple-sprouting-broccoli-282 , that says:

If more people tasted home grown purple sprouting broccoli they would surely cultivate it. You would see it on London balconies, in country herbaceous borders and standing proud in every kitchen garden in the land. Home grown does not have the slight limpness and bitterness of the supermarket stuff. It’s sweet and delicate and melt in the mouth.

The only problem with this vegetable is that it takes a year to mature. The seeds are planted towards the end of April and the long-ish wait puts people off. I reckon most people plant it, loose the seed packet and when it is not producing florets in the autumn the plants are hoiked out and thrown into the compost bin. It has the reputation of being a difficult vegetable. It is easy. Best germinated and grown on before planting out, it requires very little attention. It attracts the cabbage white butterfly and once you have dealt with this it is basically plain sailing until the harvest in the Spring. The only problem is that you don’t have enough.

And there's a white sprouting broccoli too! Sounds like a project for next year...

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Re: Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Post  miinva on 3/16/2011, 11:14 pm

I found a great article from High Mowing Seeds too... http://www.highmowingseeds.com/pdfs/Winter%20Sprouting%20Broccoli.pdf

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Re: Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Post  miinva on 3/17/2011, 12:17 am

I can't find a US source for the white sprouting broccoli. Oh well, I'm happy with my purple for now Smile

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Re: Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/17/2011, 9:41 am

The following is a paragraph from Steve Solomon's "Growing Organic Vegetables West of the Cascades" c1985 Pacific Search Press, Seattle
Overwintered Purple Sprouting broccoli is a biennial bred from a family of brassica native to England. (Annual broccoli comes from less hardy Italian wild brassica stock.) It has smaller flowers but is much hardier. Purple Sprouting seeds are usually even more vigorous sprouters than annual broccoli and grow about like kale. Because it should not be heavily fertilized until spring regrowth, I usually start Purple Sprouting in mid-July by sprinkling the seed thinly in an unfertilized garden thinned to stand 12 to 18 inches apart. The plants are about 12 inches tall when winter checks their growth in late November. Larger plants are less cold hardy, especially if they grow rapidly under conditions of high fertility. Smaller ones may not produce much in spring. I think that if one's soil will not grow 12-inch tall plants from mid-July sowings without fertilization, the grower might be better off to start the plants a little earlier rather than fertilize and consequently have softer plants to overwinter. Then when spring regrowth begins, which is usually late in February at Lorane, (Oregon), side-dress the plants with about a teaspoonful of blood meal per plant. This provokes rapid March growth and larger, more abundant flowers.
....matures during March/April when there is not much else to eat. At that season, we make whole meals of broccoli stir-fries almost daily mixed with scallions or leeks. Where six plants a month (annual broccoli) will handle our needs in summer or fall, two 100-square-foot raised beds or about 150 row feet of Purple Sprouting seems to be required.

pp139-140 italicized parentheses added by Deb

Mr. Solomon was not just a backyard gardener, he was a strong promoter of self sufficiency and the founder of Territorial Seed Company. Thus the recommendation for 100 sq' of Purple Sprouting which may not work for urban gardens.
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