2 gram packet sows 45 ft. Average about 7,500 seeds per oz with significant variation between the different vegetables. See the planting chart on page 81 for details. Hardy. Require warm temperatures to germinate, but need 60s during seedling stage for optimal growth; higher temperatures make seedlings leggy. Heavy feeders; for best growth, need regular moisture and 2–3' spacing. Have done well for us succeeding onions and garlic in beds. Cauliflower and broccoli are damaged by hard frosts, especially in spring. Days to maturity are from direct seeding. Subtract 20 days from date of transplanting.
Brassica oleracea (botrytis group) Start broccoli indoors March–May for setting out May–July, or direct-seed in May or June for fall crop. Easier as a fall crop because some varieties perform poorly in hot summers. For better stands in dry conditions sow in trenches. Broccoli dislikes extreme temperature and moisture fluctuations of the kind we have endured the past three seasons. Climate change is making it a challenge to grow even the more heat-tolerant varieties in the summer, while at the same time lengthening and making more temperate our New England falls, broadening growers’ windows of opportunity.
How tastes change! In 1880, Hiram Sibley & Co. offered 37 varieties of cabbage, just 3 of broccoli. Broccoli contains significant levels of sulforaphane, a substance that helps detoxify carcinogens from the body, may limit the damage of serious lung disease caused by smoking and protect against damage to blood vessels caused by diabetes. Research at the University of Illinois indicates that teaming fresh broccoli with a spicy food that contains the enzyme myrosinase enhances broccoli’s anti-carcinogenic effects. Suggested teammates include radishes, cabbage, arugula, brussels sprouts, mustard and horseradish or wasabi.
Some years back, research indicating that broccoli seed sprouts are higher in sulforaphane than the vegetable itself caused a run on open-pollinated broccoli seeds. The broccoli seed we offer is not food grade and we cannot guarantee that it is fit for human consumption as sprouted seeds. We have no control over the conditions in which it is stored before it reaches us. Please contact your natural foods wholesaler or retailer for sprouting seed.
Broccoli Blend Ingredients
3306 OG Solstice
3313 Bay Meadows
3314 Green Valiant
3318 OG Thompson
3320 Waltham 29
Major pests: Cabbage Looper, Diamondback Moth, Imported Cabbageworm
Cultural controls: control cruciferous weeds near crop fields, till-under crop debris of early-season brassicas after harvest.
Materials: Spinosad (8922-4), Bt (8902).
Pest: Flea Beetle
Cultural controls: floating row covers (9101), mulch with straw, time plantings for fall harvested crops only, crop rotation, perimeter trap cropping.
Materials: Spinosad (8922-4), Pyganic (8925), Capsaicin (Bugitol 8890).
Pest: Cabbage Root Maggot
Cultural controls: time planting to avoid first hatching, use row covers, control weeds.
Material: Nematodes (8941-3).
Major diseases: Black Rot, Alternaria Leaf Spot, Blackleg, Club Root, Downy Milldew, White Mold
Cultural controls: avoid transplanting plants with yellow leaves or v-shaped lesions, crop rotation, destroy crop debris after harvest, avoid overhead irrigation, control weeds, allow for good air movement.
Materials: Actinovate (8851), copper compounds (8861-3) may help for some of these diseases.
Disease: Head Rot
Cultural controls: use well-domed varieties, harvest heads when tight, cut stalks at an angle.