The Calabrese - How to Plant Your Own Broccoli
If you love cultivating fresh vegetables with a family in your garden, there is no better vegetable to start with than Calabrese. This is a hardy and forgiving variety that will tolerate most disease, insect and pest problems, and responds well to gardening and perennial maintenance techniques. Growing this vegetable has many rewards. In fact, it is so good it has been hailed as one of the best vegetables of all time by many knowledgeable gardeners.
Growing Calabrese is easy. Plant bulbs in rows down the sides of rows in your garden. Bulbs need only be planted from spring to late summer. For large calabrese heads, sow them from the late spring to late summer for maximum heirloom broccoli growth. For direct sowing, plant from April to June; take care not to disturb the root system when transplanting.
Choose a spot for your broccoli production and location is important. Spread your bulbs out in a row, making sure there is plenty of sun exposure in each row. Follow the rows until you reach the end and harvest. Do not harvest more than three-fourths of the way through your row. Allow the calabrese seeds to germinate before picking off the tops.
The most trouble with planting broccoli is the timing. Most people try to sow the bulbs just before they are in bloom. This usually doesn't work, since broccoli tends to bloom for two months in a row and then sheds its leaves for another two months before shedding its new shoots again. In order to give your plants the best chance to sprout, wait until the last week of May or early August before you transfer the broccoli from one tray to the next. This allows for ample root growth and the broccoli will have a better chance to sprout before your summer harvests.
Once your plant broccoli seeds are ready, you can start harvesting. Make sure that each row has at least one leaf to encourage germination. When you are ready to harvest, move the pots off of the row and cut off the tops. Allow the pots to cool and then wrap them in paper towels to keep pests from getting to them. If your Calabrese has been sitting on the windowsill for a few weeks before being harvested, you should leave it in place until the last few days before harvesting.
If your Calabrese is a small garden, you will need to make sure that it is sitting in a spot that gets at least six hours of full sun light. Full sun is much healthier for your plants and it makes it much easier for your seed to germinate as well. If you do not get full sun, you can still grow your own broccoli but you may have to cover the plants during the cooler winter months to encourage growth.
After your Calabrese has finished growing for the summer and it is time for fall planting, you should check the weather forecasts in your area to see how you should protect your plants from harsh weather conditions. It is very important to keep your broccoli seeds covered during the fall months so that they will have ample time to sprout. If you are planning on harvesting before the winter months start, you should move your Calabrese indoors until the last week of September or until the first week of October.
If you have chosen to buy your Calabrese online, it is extremely important that you have it delivered to you in full sun. When you are shipping immediately, you are taking a risk of germinating any germs that may be growing on your seeds. If your seeds are not shipped in full sun, you could experience damage or even have no seeds at all. There are many advantages to growing your own broccoli, but the most obvious one is that you can eat your own healthy broccoli. That is truly a wonderful gift!