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Talkback: How to grow purple-sprouting broccoli

I want to plant some broccoli as advised I can do at this time of year, to last through winter/be ready early spring, but any of the seeds I...

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I want to plant some broccoli as advised I can do at this time of year, to last through winter/be ready early spring, but any of the seeds I can find online say to plant in March/April! Firstly, is it ok for me to start growing them from seed at this time of year (I have a small greenhouse to do this in) then plant them out in a few weeks (mid/end August)? If so, what kind? Any kind of purple sprouting? Or 'early'? And disregard the packet instructions? I'm a very armature gardener and am unsure about many steps of the planting process! If anyone can recommend any other vegetables I can start from seed now, then plant out in a raised bed to grow over winter/be ready in spring, that would be much appreciated. Thank you.
nutcutlet

i'm not a veg grower but i thought purple sprouting brocoli stood over winter to be harvested in spring. that's what i see happening in other peoples' gardens

BobTheGardener

Nutcutlet is right.  There are several varieties but the ones I think you mean are sown and grown in just the same way (and at the same time) as any other brassica, but they go dormant when the weather gets cold.  Being fully hardy they survive the winter.  They then start throwing up spears in early spring, which are produced from the stored energy in the fully grown plant.  Effectively it is a biennial - grows one year and flowers, seeds and dies the next.  We simply eat the flowers before they open.

Welshonion

Chard will stand over winter.  Also look out for leek plants. Look on the MoreVeg site for things you can plant now.

If you are an inexperienced gardener it is always best to follow the instruction on the packet.  Purple Sprouting is sown in March/April.  If you sow now they will not be ready to plant out in mid-August.

I would save your un-opened packet until next year.

 

It would be useful to have a chart of suggested planting times and varieties to enable a November to spring cropping. Can anyone create one?

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Mike....I believe some of the well known seed companies offer the info you suggest  if you opt for their "Monthly Newsletters".  Take into account your location and they can be quite useful for new growers

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