Vegmonkey and the Mrs.

Vegetable growing in a very small space in Cheltenham

Growing ‘Early Purple Sprouting Broccoli’ – update February 15, 2008

growing purple sprouting broccoli 

As this is our first year (almost over!) at Vegmonkey and the Mrs. and one of the biggest lessons we have learnt is not to grow early purple sprouting broccoli in such a small garden as ours, as it takes over and needs a huge amount of space. We  planted it in April, and it is just beginning to sprout from the main head as can be seen from the picture. I posted previously about the plant and the battering it has taken over the year. It really is a very hardy plant!  I’ll cut this main head as soon as it grows a little more, then hopefully lots of little side spears will appear and we will have lots of broccoli.

The ideal scenario with Broccoli is to grow lots of plants and take a little off each one so not to exhaust each plant too much in one go. A bit like you would with rocket. We don’t have this privilege sadly so will have to be careful.

Now at the start of this post i said our lesson learnt was to not grow early purple sprouting in such a small space. It also doesn’t fit into our rotation (crops March to May) as i will need the bed space very soon for the roots and onions and i loathe to take out a producing plant.

HOWEVER, being a stubborn sod i want to make it fit!

The plan is to grow:

Summer Purple – Sow March to April.  Harvest June to October (this is very early and will enable us to have this delicious vegetable in the middle of the summer!)

In pots ready to go i the ground when the summer purple stops producing 

Rudolph – Sow March – May. Harvest Nov to Feb (putting it in at the start of October will also hopefully produce smaller plants than the monster we have at the moment.)

In pots to plant out in Feb after Rudolph has stopped cropping as a bit of an experiment.

Cardinal – Sow April to May. Harvest March – April

So hopefully we will have a cropping plant of some description for 10 months of the year, which is pretty amazing in my book. I’ll make sure i post on how it’s doing as it seems to be the second most popular search that my blog is ‘found’ on, behind the planting planner. If anyone has any trouble tracing the varieties, let me know and i’ll hunt out the seed packets.