BROCCOLI (Brassica oleracea botryitis asparagoides)
This is an excellent vegetable for general garden cultivation, and provides good heads of flower at every season of the year, according to the time of sowing and the varieties selected.
It is hardier than, and therefore more suitable for general cultivation.
To obtain supplies for earlier winter use, seed is sown in March or early April under glass, or in a very warm border outdoors. It is hardened off as soon as possible, and transplanted when a few inches high to a nursery bed, the plants being set about 6 in. apart.
At the end of May or in early June the plants are set out in permanent quarters, 2 ft. apart in the rows and with 1-1/2 ft. between each row.
Those intended for use at the end of winter are sown from the middle of April to the beginning of May, in the prepared nursery bed. These are best transplanted in the same way as theraised under glass.
They can followor beans, being planted between the rows, as advised for .
A further sowing can be made at the end of May, which will produce good heads for use in late spring and summer. Except for occasional hoeing, no further cultivation is required, except that the crop may need protection during the winter in exposed gardens. A good layer of bracken, hay, or straw round the neck of each plant will serve.
Heads intended for exhibition should be covered a week or two before the show with leaves taken from other plants, or the heads can have their own leaves tied round over them loosely.
Another way of protecting heads ofwhich are not used until the arrival of cold weather, is to heel them over towards the north, covering the stem and roots with .
Useful varieties are as follows: For early winter use “Veitch’s Self-Protecting,” “Snow’s Winter White.” For late winter use “Evesham Giant.”
For summer use “Veitch’s Model” and “May Giant.”
This is cultivated in exactly the same way as ordinary Broccoli, but instead of cutting the whole head, the sprouting side shoots are used as required. Its flavour is said to be improved by a touch of frost. “Christmas Purple Sprouting” and “White Sprouting” are good varieties.
A perennial Broccoli which also belongs to the sprouting broccoli section is called “Nine Star” Broccoli. This produces small white heads, sometimes as many as twelve heads on a single plant, year after year in succession. This variety can be raised easily from seed.