Here is a blog post on how to grow and harvest sprouting broccoli at home. I have recently had a harvest in my vegetable patch. So I have now decided to write a blog post on it.
What are sprouting broccoli?
Sprouting broccoli is a variety of that is the same the broccoli that you see everywhere in the supermarkets. I find that the sprouting broccoli the common purples one that you find in supermarkets here in the UK are quite tough to eat. Therefore I decided to grow some of my own at home. I had big seed stash leftover from last year that I got from eBay. One can buy seeds from here. Or even small plants from here.
They are a family of green leafy brassicas ranging from common broccoli to commonly call Chinese kale. The telltale common sign they have it’s the little sprouts/ flower shoots seen on the stems of the plant. They come in all sorts of varieties some variety has got yellow flowers. Where else some are purple.
How to grow them
Sowing them from seed is relatively easy. However, the plants need at least 6 months to establish themselves before the produce any sprouts. So, therefore, one needs space in the garden. They are also prone to white cabbage worms/ caterpillar. Last year I wrote a blog post on it here is the link. The broccoli plant will look like it has been chewed to death. It was quite a terrifying moment!! Not nice. After researching on it, if the plant survives these disease and the warm season it will be fine.
Harvesting sprouting broccoli
The variety I grew is also winter hardy all the good news for a gardener. Come spring they are ready to harvest. Like most brassicas, they grow in well-rotted manure and drain soil. Harvest the shoots just as they grow to size ready to bolt into flower but not flowering yet. With the spring weather getting warmer they do tend to bolt/ flower easily. However, the flowers are still edible except they are just a bit of the though side.
Freshly harvested sprouting broccoli taste so good on it’s not cooked as they are young and tender. They are great to add to salads, otherwise, you cook them like you normally would in stir-fries, as a side dish to roast/ meat dishes.