Purple sprouting broccoli makes its appearance in your garden in late January and early February and remains in season until April or May. It was certainly the case this year where I have enjoyed the brightly coloured delicious brassica until the end of May.
The bobbles on all types of broccoli are actually flower buds and if left the purple sprouts from this type turn into bright yellow flowers.
So when is the best time to plant out purple sprouting broccoli?May and June is the time to start plant your plants.They are really easy to grow from seed,and they can also be grown in pots and tubs.The hardy plants are easy to care for in the winter months as well.
I start my seeds of in 5" pots using a good quality seed compost.They can be planted into their final position when they are 4" tall with 24" between rows and plants.
As I grow mine in tubs, I re-pot into larger pots as (here's a good tip),the final position I use is my potato sacks after my late crop has gone.Here the plants grow much larger giving a greater harvest.
When the seeds are sown choose a light shade in summer and provide a warm position for early crops.
The stems should be cut when they are about 6" long with a nice tight cluster of buds, also you should pick young shoots often to boost further cropping.
The tender stalks are referred to by many as the poor man's asparagus , but all of the plant is edible and even the leaves can be used in stir fries.Great with meat or fish,Sprouting broccoli makes a great vegetable side dish served with hollandaise sauce.Drop the trimmed stems into boiling water and cook until you can pierce with a knife at the thickest part of the stems with just a little pressure
Make a spicy pasta dish with the fresh shoots, you can fry the broccoli with garlic and chilli in some olive oil and stir into fresh pasta.
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