Broccoli Growing

Broccoli, Heading. Closely allied to cauliflower, and from the culinary point of view identical except that flavour is less delicate. It is also hardier and has a much longer season. Where possible, follow broccoli after early potatoes or some other crop that has already had manure, and give chemicals only. It will then only be necessary to clear off weeds and other rubbish, dust the surface with the fertilizers, fork in, and tread firmly. Recommended chemicals are hydrated lime at 8 oz. per square yard ; basic slag at 3 oz. per square yard; and either sulphate of potash or muriate of potash 1 oz. per square yard. If ground manured for a previous crop is not available, work in a moderate dressing of dung or compost, about 1 cwt. to 18 sq yd.; then give the chemicals described above as a top dressing.

Seed should be sown outdoors in April and May. For early supplies it is an advantage to sow a few seeds in a frame in March. In all methods sow thinly in drills 1 in. deep and 6 in. apart.

Plant from May to late July with a trowel and press soil firmly around the roots. Water freely if the weather is dry, but when possible plant during showery weather. Space 2 ft. apart in rows 21 ft. apart.

As the plants approach maturity, bend inner leaves inwards over the curds for protection.

Varieties may be grouped as early, mid-season, and late. The first are ready from October to Christmas, the second from that date until April, and the third carry on the supply until June. Standard kinds are: early, Veitch’s Self-Protecting; mid-season, Leamington, Snow’s Winter White, Roscoff Nos. 1 and 2; late, Late Queen, St. George, Roscoff Nos. 3 and 4 May Blossom.

Club root, cabbage caterpillars, flea beetle, and cabbage root fly are the commonest foes.

Broccoli, Sprouting. Grown for the flowering shoots, which are cut off when 6 to 9 in. in length. Sprouting broccoli are hardier than heading kinds, and the sprouts are produced successively for a long time. Soil should be well dug and moderately enriched with manure (about 1 cwt. to 12 sq. yd.), unless plants follow a crop for which manure has been applied, when give soot at 8 oz. per square yard, or the fertilizer mixture as recommended for heading broccoli.

Seed should be sown in April in the same manner as for heading broccoli. Plant seedlings from June to Sept. 18 in. apart in rows 21 ft. apart. Sprouts should be cut as they become available.

Good varieties are Calabrese, Christmas Purple Sprouting, and early and late purple and white sprouting.

Club root, cabbage caterpillars, flea beetle, and cabbage root fly are the commonest foes.