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Brocolli and other brassicas

I went to the supermarket today to buy some brocolli to put with a nearly bolting piece of cauliflower from the garden to make at broc & cauli cheese for lunch. All my brassicas have been loose and quick to bolt as I believe has been the case across the country.  But £2.97 per kilofor brocolli!!!!!??  

So with this in mind and hoping we have an Indian summer this year, I am going to sow some seeds now in the hope that we a better crop in a few weeks time.  I thought I might grow the earlier variety to see if I can get away with it.  Nothing to lose.  I do love my brocolli but refuse to pay that price.  Any more ideas?



  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892

    Horizon (pop Science program) on BBC2 tonight, 9pm. It's a program about how to avoid ageing. Blurb in Radio Times says:

    "Eat half a kilo of broccoli a day and your skin will be grateful".

    Half a kilo every day!

    I buy mine in a bag, frozen, £1.25 per kilo. But I don't get through 3 bags a week.

  • image  I think I could have done with that ant--ageing advice 30 years ago!  I wonder how long frozen is going to stay at £1.25 per kilo given that there is bound to be a shortage. Might try it though.  Cheers

  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892

    I don't know how easy, or difficult, it is to grow broccoli from seed.

    If you saw Monty Don on Gardeners World last Friday, you'll have seen that his efforts to grow carrots have been dismal this year. For all his work, he got virtually nothing.

    I would think that broccoli is more challenging than carrots. I don't know what would actually be involved in growing a decent crop of broccoli, to guarantee a substantial year-round supply. That's why I buy frozen.

    My understanding is that frozen vegetables contain just the same vitamins as fresh, and more than fresh that has gone off. Purists might say that frozen doesn't taste as nice, though not being familiar with the taste of fresh broccoil, I'm none the worst for not knowing.

  • Miss BecksMiss Becks Posts: 3,468

    I must admit, I buy frozen as well, and apart from being a bit softer and not having that fresh 'crunch', I find it perfectly acceptable. It is the prices that have prompted me to try and grow my own this year as well. I have Cauli's, Cabbage, Carrots and Broccoli growing at the moment, but I chose the Early Purple Sprouting broccoli, and that won't be ready until next year now. But it has had an excellent germination rate. Only a Wilkos pack of seeds.

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,267

    Calabrese, Marathon is ever so easy to grow from seed, the slugs haven't seen mine yet and it's just begining to show some green heads. The packet says it can still be sown in July. I grew broccoli last year from seedlings donated by a group of students working in the local allotment, a few plants produced an excellent crop, be watchful though caterpillars love them.

  • I have grown my own brocolli successfully for several years now and always sow them in the greenhouse or conservatory rfrom seed.  The most important thing I have found is digging in autumn or early winter and then pulling any weeds out by hand in spring before planting so as not to destroy the ground and to keep the firmness there.  When I plant them they go in deep into a small hole and the soil is punched into place around the stems (sounds brutal but provided the little plants or not broken all will be ok).  This is to keep them in firm soil.  Apparently they don't like air around their roots and hence my digging/composting is done in autumn. I will see if I can get the calabrese marathon but so far every time I have looked for brocolli seeds,  the GC's have been out of stock. I wonder whyimage 

    I have some lettuces that are ready to plant out and more to follow later and I have to admit I am dreading putting them in the groung because of the slugs and snails this year. They are becoming quite athletic munchers and have been climbing my runner bean poles.  Even hydrangeas have been eaten, leaves and flowers too!  Will be sowing more beetroot, carrots and trying some more cabbages.  I only grow summer cauli's as I think the winter ones are in the ground too long and take up too much space for little reward.  So far my cauli's are large golfball size and looking as if they too are going to bolt. image  Oh dear.  Perhaps I will have to buy frozen brocolli too.


  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,267

    I planted both Calabrese and brussels in deep holes and they were then earthed up like spuds as the plants grew. The ground around each plant has been well stamped down and impacted. Covering them with netting has kept off butterflies but slugs did get to a few seedlings, I'm hopeful they should produce a reasonable crop though, 'the cups always half full and not half empty'image

    Slugs have got at my spinach, chad and beetroot, they've also climbed up the runner/french beans polesimage I'm hopeful the beetroot will be ok although it is littered with holy leaves. There must be thousands of slugs out there, mine are so confident they come out in the daytime.  

    I was thinknig of being brutal this weekend, clearing what's unlikely to pick up and sowing more seeds, then covering with cloches overnight to keep in warmth and encourage rapid growth. What do you think of the plan...   

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