Emerald Crown (Broccoli)
Latin Name: Brassica oleracea varitalica
Item #: 50U
BROCCOLI - for fresh market and freezing
7,200 plants per acre/.4047 ha; 3,000 plants per oz/28 g
GREENHOUSE: Sow Early Crops indoors in flats from March until early April 0.25 in/6mm deep, cover lightly and firm. Transplant into 2.25-3 in/58-78 mm peat pots or space seedlings 2 in/52 mm apart in flats when plants are 5 or 6 weeks old (about 5 in/130 mm tall). Set plants outdoors in late April or early May. Space plants 18-24 in/46-61 cm apart in rows 3 ft/91 cm apart. Make another application to the soil around the base of each plant about a week later.
LATE CROP: Direct seed outdoors from early May till the first week in June in the north, or as late as July 1st in central U.S.A. Sow seed as thin as possible (4-5 seeds per ft/30 cm) in well prepared or rototilled soil, in rows 3 ft/91 cm apart, 0.25 in/6 mm. deep cover and firm. Thin plants to 18-24 in/46-61 cm apart, when plants are 3 weeks old.
HARVEST: Central heads should be cut before they pass their prime (6-9 in/15-23 cm in diameter) just before the tiny buds of the head begin to open. Side shoot growth is encouraged after the central head is cut, providing an abundant harvest of smaller 2-3 in/5-8 cm heads, which are bundled like Asparagus for sale.
DIRECT SOWING: Broccoli will mature 110 days from seed. Sow as above in fertile, well drained soil with low acidity, fertilize like cabbage once or twice with 5-20-20, before heads form. Broccoli is one of the best members of the cabbage family for the home garden. It is easy to grow and can be harvested over a fairly long period.
FREEZING: Wash, trim off leaves and tough sterns and divide into small pieces. Blanch for 3 minutes, cool, drain, pack and fast freeze.