(B. oleracea) Start heirloom broccoli seeds for transplants 4-6 weeks prior to desired transplanting date. Seedlings need bright artificial light or full sun; a cold frame is ideal. Set the plants in the garden about 4 weeks before last frost date in the spring, or about 4-6 weeks before first frost when fall-planting. Plants need rich soil and abundant moisture to produce a good crop. After the main head is harvested, plants often produce smaller florets over a long season. Always harvest broccoli just before the first flowers open. Spring plantings often bolt to seed in hot summer weather.
Italian Heirloom variety known for tender stalks and mild flavor. Reliable multi-cut variety that produces a compact, 3-4” bluish-green central head followed by a prolific set of side shoots. Variable maturity results in a long harvest period for both central heads and side shoots. Good home garden variety. Abundant side shoots • Long harvest window. (Brassica oleracea var. italica). Maturity 48 days.
Dark green leaves, purple stems and sweet, petite florets. Similar to broccoli raab with a sweeter flavor and delicate texture. Young flowering shoots are delicious in fresh salads, stir-fries, and pasta dishes. Best for fall harvest; shorter days cause stems to elongate. Harvest just before bright yellow blossoms open. Fall crop • Gourmet selection. (Brassica rapa var. chinensis.) Maturity 37 days.