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.
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.