Sunday, February 01, 2009

What to Grow 2009 - Broccoli

Do you have a broccoli variety you recommend? In taking stock of what seeds I have and what seeds I need (and what seeds I want), I've determined I won't have enough broccoli seeds. So, what to order?

I've been growing a seed blend of Everest, Packman, Small Miracle and Southern Comet. These are supposed to produce over different periods and provide a nice season of broccoli. However, I haven't been able to tell them apart and I would like to know which variety is actually growing. That's why this year I'd like to grow a specific variety.

Each year, I winter sow some broccoli in milk jugs in late Feb. or early March. Then I plant the seedlings in the garden under the cloche or some sort of protection. I have to discourage slugs from eating the seedlings, usually by putting coffee grounds around the seedling. If I can get it past the size a slug can eat all in one night, then it will be fine on its own. I try to start more plants throughout the spring. The young broccoli plants above are from May 2007.

After harvesting the main head, I hope for lots of side shoots for more eating. Finally, I let the bees have it. See this link about broccoli bee bliss.

Any suggestions?


Gardeness said...

I yanked my broccoli after it was done producing last year. Does it bolt like lettuce and chard? Anyway, those bee pics are great. Also, I planted Burpee's organic Green Sprouting Calabrese. It was my first attempt at the veggie and I think it did well. Little to no slug damage but it's in a raised bed surrounded by bark. Are you going to SAGBUTT? I could bring you seeds.

Matron said...

It's difficult to recommend a variety because most of yours will be different. Last year I planted a very early broccoli 'rudolph' which is cropping now, and a later one which will be ready in March/April. Try to find varieties which will give you a succession in the hungry season.

gardenerprogress/Catherine said...

I think I've only tried Packman. It didn't produce too well last summer, but we had weird weather. Maybe I'll try to winter sow some. I'm just trying that for the first time this year.

Karen said...

No help here, but I can ask my mom what she grows - pretty tasty, from what I've experienced (as an adult - hated it hated it hated it as a kid!). Glad the bees like yours in flower - I always seemed to get icky black aphids on mine so gave up. Maybe I'll try again this year. Good luck!

Libby said...

We adore brocolli and I have to admit that very little grows in the garden over winter so, I plan to try brocolli and sprouts. I can but try!

Cameron said...

I came here cause I saw your sunflower sprout pictures from last year.

Please look at my blog too. I just started growing some sunflowers indoors ;)

Petunia's Gardener said...

Gardeness - broccoli will bolt in the summer. That's how I end up in the bee flower stage. I just keep trimming the sprouts as long as possible. Finally, it goes to flower and eventually, I cut it out. I'd love to try a few Green Sprouting Calabrese seeds. I will be at the "event"! Thanks!

Petunia's Gardener said...

Matron - I'll add Rudolph to my possible winter crop list. Hope your snow isn't hurting it now!

Catherine & Karen - What was that year we had last year? Definitely weird. I think I get flea beetles and sometimes aphids. and then it does eventually bolt. But such a big beautiful plant and nice addition to the salads.

Libby, when it snows like you have now, it is a garden winter break! I hope it takes care of some bugs too.

Cameron - Thanks for visiting again. I'll come visit now.