Brassica oleracea will very readily cross pollinate with other oleracea being cauliflowers, cabbages, broccoli’s, kales, etc. A good kale can take up to 18 months to go to seed. You will notice the plant instead of growing sideways or hearting will start to grow tall and will start to produce flowers on long stalks. Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli will go to seed very quickly if not picked in spring. At this point keep an eye out for aphids which tend to attack the vulnerable plant. If so simple spray them off till long seed pods are forming. Keep protecting while seed pods are starting to dry and the seeds inside have swollen. Leave too long on the plant and they can all ‘pop’ and self seed thru
your garden. Pick too early and they might not have formed enough to bring the seed to its full potential So pick when starting to dry and carefully place in paper bag till all seeds are dry. Then separate from pods and store still in paper bags till very dry. Store in a cool dark place. Keep seeds for around 1-2 years then freshen then with new. With care will last longer.
BROCCOLI as we know it is the result of careful breeding in the northern Mediterranean starting in the 6th Century BC. In the green heading varieties these heads were encouraged and slowly bred to get larger. Of course there’s so many varieties of the lovely Broccoli and we can supply you a good choice of these.
PLANTING Broccoli is easy to grow and very worthwhile. In Victoria’s temperate climate, plant the seed Feb to April then Sept to Nov for best heads. In the warmer microclimates of Melbourne’s backyards winter should be okay for growers. Seed can be sown directly but generally seed is planted in trays then transplanted when 6cm high and it’s 4th leaf has grown. Plant 40cm or more apart in well composted soil enriched with good organic fertilizer and a small amount of lime. Plant in full sun. Consider planting seed every 2-3 weeks to ensure crops over a long period. Depending on season expect to crop 65 to 100 days. Harvest the 1st head then leave plant and wait for the best part, the sprouts.
MORE ABOUT BROCCOLI. Good source of Protein, Vitamin E, A, C, K, B6, Folate, Potassium, Manganese plus Thiamine, Riboflavin, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Selenium. Its high nutritional value makes broccoli an essential part of one’s daily diet and best eaten raw or only very lightly steamed. Growing and picking fresh from the garden gives gardeners a great opportunity to eat it at its best.
KALE Seeds can be planted any time of the year except in the middle of Summer and can be transplanted with not too much shock to the plant protecting from extreme heat till established. Allow 30cms at least per plant and note they will grow up to a metre high.