Roehampton Garden Society

Purple Sprouting Broccoli – the winter marvel..

Nothing much will grow in the cold of winter – after the brussels sprouts have vanished we are firmly in the ‘hunger gap’. But purple sprouting broccoli is extremely hardy, tolerating temperatures as low as -12°C. It responds to even a slight warmth and produces flowering shoots or ‘sprouts’ from February to April when there’s very little else around. Two or three large plants can feed your family. Well worth while planting some now for next year….

Here’s a summary of how to do it, but the best advice can be found from the RHS here

Sprouting Broccoli Site 3

Sow from April to mid-June for harvesting from January to May. Begin in a 9cm pot. Don’t sow too many – just enough to give you 3 or 4 plants securely.

When about 10 cm tall transplant. If you have the space free this can be their final growing spot. However, these plants will take up a lot of space. If you don’t have the space free until the autumn, you can transplant into a large, tall pot and plant out finally as late as September.

Like other brassicas, purple-sprouting broccoli thrives in a fairly heavy, alkaline soil. Avoid an exposed site, where the wind will buffet the stems and loosen the soil around the roots. Fork the soil over, removing stones and perennial weeds. Add some organic matter to improve moisture retention and texture. You may need to add lime if your soil is acidic. Brassicas dislike loose soil, so firm lightly with your foot.

Harvest each flowering shoot carefully – others should grow to replace them. Cut carefully and your crop will last for weeks.

July 2017 Bulletin

Download July 2017 Bulletin

  • Summer Show Report
  • Improve the taste of your tomatoes with seaweed feed or homemade comfrey tea!
  • Why your broccoli tastes better fresh, but other veg improve if stored – some interesting facts from James Wong’s book ‘How to Eat Better’
  • Organic Insectcides at the Store and a homemade blackfly killer recipe

Plus the latest from the National Parks City initiative