Wednesday, 17 April 2013

The garden in mid-April - Broccoli and Cauli

Recently I gave an overview of the cabbages I am growing this autumn / winter, promising to also profile the other brassicas I have in - broccoli and cauli.

I have grown broccoli for many years now - they were the first brassicas I ever attempted and now they are on my must plant list. In the past I have only grown Calabrese-style broccoli but  I have three varieties in this year.

I bought these in a punnet - I had space in the bed before I had raised seed so took the modest plunge. Only 5 of the 6 survived the transplant but they 5 are ripping along and looking great.  Again, no cabbage moth grub attack at all.

These I have raised from seed. I am looking forward to their bizarre lime green spirals, but in the meantime I am enjoying their growth. Their leaves are much pointier aren't they?

Green sprouting
These too I have raised from seed, but they were surprisingly slow to develop. They are still very small and sitting inside a protective milk bottle sleeve to stop nibblers.  I am not sure why it has taken me so long to grow this variety which is well suited to Asian-style cooking.

Caulis were the second attempt I made at growing brassicas after having success with broccoli. I guess I have grown caulis three years now? I usually buy punnets of these too, but this year I have raised both the varieties from seed. Here is what I have in.

Cauli Mini
This is the standard cauli, you know white curds, but this is a mini version.

Cauli Purple
I can't wait for this one. I love the idea of purple curds. But does anyone know -  do they change colour on cooking or do they stay purple?

These caulis seem to grow quite tall very quickly as you can see. I might spend a little time supporting the stems with additional soil / manure / straw.  Looks like they need a little weeding as well.

So that's my broccoli and cauli selection for the season, hopefully the different stages of development of the plants will mean there is always something on offer.

What brassicas are you growing this southern autumn /winter. Northerners, do you grow a brassica or two over summer? Which type?

What brassica should I really try next year that you have had success with?


  1. You will have a delicious harvest come Fall.

  2. The purple cauliflower will turn a lighter, bluish purple when cooked, IF its the F1 hybrid "graffiti". The open-pollinated varieties turn green when cooked.

    1. Thanks Helen, it isn't 'graffitti', the seed pack just said, 'purple cauliflower'. I guess I will find out which of these two ways it goes.



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