Sunday, July 10, 2011

Italian Sprouting Broccoli Life Cycle

This is the third plant that we grow from seeds in Adelaide when we first started vegetable gardening. The seeds that we bought 3 years ago still have not finished and still germinate really well. We usually have excess seedlings of Italian sprouting broccoli and give it away to friends. Well you never know what will happened while they grow as they are one of the pest favourite so it is better to have extra seedlings to transplant with the ones that has no more leaves. I was not planning to plant sprouting broccoli when the first time we decided to try growing broccoli. We did not know back then that there are many types of broccoli variety like sprouting, broccolini or Romanesco broccoli. We always thought that broccoli was like cauliflower, they grow big curd and after harvesting the curd you won’t have anything more to harvest from the plant. Since they were many broccoli packets to choose from the seed rack, my hand reached out for “Italian Sprouting”. I think I was attracted with the packaging. Another bad habit hard to lose. So that is how our affair started with “Italian Sprouting” broccoli. How happy I was to discover that after harvesting the main head, many tiny heads suddenly shoot out from tiny stems. More and more of tiny sprouted broccoli heads to harvest continuously for weeks until the weather is too hot for them.

Broccoli seedlings.

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We usually start sowing Italian Sprouting Broccoli end of March. Late sowing for us will be end of May. Last transplanted seedlings will be in June.

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A month later after top photo was taken. It is unbelievable to see how much they have grown in just one month after I compared the photos together when I kept thinking they grow so slow. Now some of the plants have start to develop delicious curd!

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Harvested our first Italian Sprouting broccoli today. Our Italian Sprouting broccoli started 2 weeks earlier than previous season. We were so happy because we miss eating broccoli so much has been waiting for broccoli season to come back in our garden since last year.

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Italian sprouting broccoli grows very well in container as well. We had so many excess seedlings last year that I decided to grow them in containers. Well thinning task is already hard for me, so with healthy seedlings I just can’t chuck them in compost. Those 2 plants are happy in the same container which has soil depth about 30cm. Many books wrote that it is not suitable to grow broccoli in container, but I guess you just have to see it for yourself. I hope people with limited space will be encourage to try growing them.

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A bolted Italian sprouting broccoli plants. If you stop harvesting those tiny heads it will start to produce flowers. Bees really like this flowers.

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Italian Sprouting Broccoli seed pods after successful pollination helped by the bees.

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Italian Sprouting Broccoli dried seed pods.

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Have a nice weekend.

Happy Gardening!

16 comments:

Cat-from-Sydney said...

MKG dear,
This is the first time I've seen broccoli seed pods. We used to plant what the nurseries call "dwarf" variety of broccoli and cauliflower in containers. It was delicious, though we had to plant many of them to get a wok-full of heads for stirfry! yummm..... har har har *evil laughs*

Mr. H. said...

That really is quite a bit of growth for one months time...they must like it there. Enjoy those broccoli heads.

Sunray Gardening said...

One of my favorite vegetables and it's good to see they grow so well for you.
Cher Sunray Gardens

milka said...

Most of my vege don't grow well in pot. Maybe my pots are not deep enough for their roots.
I always have no patience to wait until the vege to flower and seed. Tangan gatal will pluck all lor.

kitchen flavours said...

I never knew broccoli seeds are in pods! I've always thought that they are from the dried flowers. Thanks for this educational info! :)
Your broccoli are looking great. Have a lovely Sunday, Diana!

Charmcitybalconygarden said...

That's really cool! Can you eat the leaves of the broccoli plant too? There are so many kinds of vegetables I want to plant...pretty soon my balcony will have no space!

Lrong said...

Looks very good... I normally plant my brocolli in the autumn...

Sue@G.L. Allotments said...

I've never left broccoli to seed - fascinating!

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Cat-from-Sydney~ Any home-grown broccoli or cauliflower is the best.

Mr. H~A very nice bonus this year getting to harvest broccoli earlier. Hopefully some cauliflower will develop head too.

Cher~After 3 season growing broccoli here, We got to understand much about how to grow broccoli well here.

Milka~One thing about pot is that it must have enough moisture for them to grow well as container dried easily. Enough food and water they will grow well in container. You might want to mulch your garden container for vegetables to prevent much evaporation.

Joyce~They are in pods like choy sum and kailan.

Charmcitybalconygarden~Yes you can eat broccoli leaves. I just ate young broccoli leaves that I cut together with the broccoli head. You will find some way to fit everything in:).

Lrong~We sowed the seeds in end summer and transplant them in autumn. Middle of autumn sown-seeds will be fine as well.

Sue~I found them fascinating too when I unintentionally let them flower. I did not let them bolt on purpose. It just one of those time when there were so many task to do in the garden you forgot about some plants.

jimmycrackedcorn said...

I love those seed pods. I had a bunch grow this spring from the overwintered hoop bed, but I couldn't save the seeds because cabbage, kale and turnip were all flowering at the same time. I might have ended up with seeds for a cross-pollinated mutant.

Mark Willis said...

Broccoli is my favourite veg. correction: One of my favourite veg!

africanaussie said...

they look so healthy, and have grown very fast. I have just been unable to grow them - as soon as the leaves appear they get eaten up by bugs.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

jimmycrackedcorn~I found that brassicas seeds is a bit challenging to save. We have choy sum and chinese broccoli bolting at the moment and I chose chinese broccoli to save seeds. So all the bolted choy sum have to be pull out. I think open-pollinated mutant is better than F1 hybrid seeds ;).

Mark~Most of home-grown veggies are favourites:).

africanaussie~We have the same problem as well. We plant asian green as a sacrifice so the broccoli are save.

philcp said...

Hi, you must be a Malaysian I presume. What a small world. I am a Malaysian based here in Canada. I have a plot at a community garden. Grew some broccoli transplants but didn't what type of broccoli it is exactly. I thought it was Heading Broccoli at first but doesn't seem to be so. It appears more like the ones in your photo - italian sprouting broccoli. Thx for sharing. Have a great harvest.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Philcp~ Small world indeed. Yes I am a Malaysian. Thanks for dropping by. Hope you enjoy your fresh broccoli!

Emily Chooi kim Ooi said...

Hi love your Broccoli! Can spare sum seed?