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Brassica oleracea var. italica
Botanical Name: Brassica oleracea var. italica
Common Name(s): Broccoli
Categories: Fruits and Vegetables
Sprouting broccoli produces central heads which may be green or purple. After these are cut, side shoots with smaller clusters develop. An adaptable cool-season plant, broccoli is easier to grow than cauliflower. A popular winter vegetable.
Botanical Pronunciation: BRAS-ee-ka
Common Pests and Diseases
Caterpillars, and aphids on stressed plants that suffer from a lack of moisture and nutrients.Downy mildew and black rot on seedlings in warm, moist weather.
The central head is ready 9-10 weeks after transplanting.Cut while the head is still compact, before the buds open, leaving 120-150mm of the main stem.The plants will then send out side shoots with smaller heads. Cut these at the same stage, leaving 70-100mm of stem.
Recommended varieties: â€˜Emperorâ€™, a warm season variety with high yields; â€˜Green Valiantâ€™ is very adaptable, with reliable good quality.
Feed the plants with nitrogen fertilizer once a month.
Sow in seedbeds or seed trays during late summer.Transplant seedlings when they reach a height of 100â€“150mm, planting them 400mm apart in the row.
Broccoli grows best in well-drained, medium to heavy clay soils that have been well prepared with large quantities of general fertilizer, manure and compost.
Twelve plants are enough for a family of four.Sow every six weeks in season to prolong the harvest.