First broccoli of the season

Calabrese (Broccoli) is one of my favourite veg to grow as it’s relatively fast to mature and the whole family loves eating it.

I cut the first heads at the weekend which is around 11 weeks after sowing. The seeds (variety Aquiles F1) were raised in the cold greenhouse, pricked out into small pots and then planted in the final positions 9″ apart. I’ve found that this spacing gives me the size of head I prefer whilst allowing me to get as many plants as possible into a small space. I’m growing 8 plants in all which will keep us supplied with plenty of broccoli for the next 6 weeks. You can see here what they looked like a month ago.

At this time of year I find the plants aren’t affected by pests and there’s enough rain usually to mean additional watering isn’t necessary.

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Once the central stem is cut this will encourage side shoots to develop and you can keep on cutting from the same plant a number of times. There’s still spring cabbages being harvested and once these have finished the cauliflowers will be ready – I’m growing a Romenesco type and also a standard white-headed variety (Cornell).

Finally we have a number of different birds in the garden attracted to the feeders that I put out and our favourite is this Great Spotted Woodpecker which has become a regular visitor. A lovely sight in the garden.

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2 responses to “First broccoli of the season

  1. Wow, just found your blog and I am slightly depressed at my own efforts! I am gardening now for about 5 years, but on awful clay soil which dries out like the desert in heat, and is like a swamp in rain! Thank god i have horses, as I need the manure! Anyway, do you have any problems growing squash and courgettes? I am in ireland, and i struggle with them, as the seeds often don’t germinate until too late when the soil warms up. I dont have a greenhouse though – I presume that must be crucial? Also, how do you cope with slugs? I find them a nightmare, as I am organic only, so it is very labour intensive trying to keep them away. Any tips on the strawberries? I have had a sum total of ONE strawberry this year, despite the hot weather! Great work.

    • Thanks very much for your comment. I’m fortunate to have chalk soil that is easily enriched with manure and my homemade compost. Clay soil must be very difficult and I guess the only way is to keep adding as much soil improver as you can. I have never had any problems with squash etc I just start them off indoors and grow on into 3 to 5 inch pots and plant out when the plants are a decent size which gets over the slug problem but I do use organic pellets sparingly when needed. A sunny windowsill is all that’s needed although the house becomes a bit overrun with plants between March and May!

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