First Signs of Sprouting Broccoli

I’m pretty sure I saw the first signs of my future Sprouting Broccoli harvest today. Each branch has a tiny little sprout, tinged with purple, beginning to show. This is where the small bunches of curds will form. Ooh I can hardly wait. Purple Sprouting Broccoli is one of my favourite vegetables from the garden. You can hardly buy it in the shops (maybe at a farmer’s market) but it tastes sooo much better than common Broccoli (actually Calabrese) that it’s worth waiting nearly a whole year for.

I made sure that the plants were staked firmly and even earthed them up a little to stop wind rock. It would be a disaster if one of them fell over!

13 Comments on “First Signs of Sprouting Broccoli

  1. Great to see your post as we had almost given up on our purple sprouting (having never grown it before we didn’t know when it would begin to sprout)
    Today we saw the first tiny little sprout and are feeling much more hopeful for it (and probably slightly more excited than we should be about a vegetable!)
    It seems like a long time ago that I planted it and am very much looking forward to tasting my first batch!

  2. We had nearly given up on our plants, but have just noticed that we also have signs of brocoli forming above each branch. We’ve never grown this before and didn’t realise that they would be in the garden all year and also grow so tall (they’re blocking the light to one of our windows). The plants have survived the summer butterflies and strong winds in autumn, so it will be nice if we get a harvest from them. We’re looking forwarding to comparing sprouting brocoli to calabrese.

  3. I love my sprouting broccoli, wouldn’t be without it on the allotment. I’m growing a super early variety, and at least one of the plants is ready to start harvesting now. And it keeps going right through the ‘hungry gap’ in the spring when there’s not much else growing. Very good for you too, what more could you ask for?

  4. Traditional early purple and late purple sprouting broccoli is most useful to have to pick in February/March/April when there is so little else – so don’t be too keen to get eating it ! Very cold weather may catch it too. This year it is developing much earlier than normal ( on the old fashioned types that is ) and may even need priotection. It is a favourite of pigeons so watch out any new growers !! We had one plant blow out of the ground on our bleak and windy allotment a few weeks back. Replanted it and it looks OK.

  5. Totally in the dark on this, so lots of questions. When do you plant it? How is it cared for in the winter? (Greenhouse necessary?) Having an option in the gap-time sounds very appealing.

  6. I haven’t grown any this year but will have a go next year. It will be interesting to compare it to calabrese.

  7. How tall are your plants? I have some in tubs this year and wonder if they’re developed enough to produce. At the mo its dark when I leave for work and dark again before I’m home so its either get out there with a torch or wait till the weekend!

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  9. Hi Ian, My plants are about 1.5 metres tall. Pretty sturdy, staked to high heaven and with very dark green thick leaves. They’ve even withstood the hard frosts we had here last night. Spinach beet is totally flat on the ground!

  10. Mango – I sow in March time usually in my coldframe. Molly-coddle them until they are through the worst of the frosts then keep them covered and protected from cabbage whites for most of the summer. Because of space issues in my garden I keep them in pots until around July time and then I plant them in the garden to get a spurt on before the frost come. Don’t forget to plant them quite low and firm them in well. The plants will get big and they have to withstand the worst of the winter weather. They’ll need staking too.

  11. Wow! I’ve never had purple sprouting broccoli, but it looks so nice I want to grow some now!

  12. I love the photo (I’m sure the broc. is great, too)–I admire how you’ve captured even the smallest moment of beauty.