Brassica oleracea 'White Sprouting Late'
250 days. The flower buds, at the end of long shoots, are creamy white and appear a week or two after Purple Sprouting has passed its prime, making a fine succession in spring. Start in mid-May. English seed.
CULTURE: For the earliest sowing, start transplants 6 weeks before the last frost (in early March on the Coast) and plant them out under some cover in April. Or start outside, setting seed 1cm (1/2 in.) deep, from April through mid-July. A July sowing of late-maturing varieties will yield harvests in the late fall. For early spring harvest of overwintering sprouting varieties, start transplants from May to July to plant out in August. Expensive hybrid (F1) seed will grow a strong plant from almost every seed, so they are best raised as transplants. For fresh eating, 2 people need only 5 plants, so don’t start too many seeds at once! Do not allow transplants to remain too long in the pots, become root-bound or stressed, or they will fail to head. Broccoli is a moderate feeder, so an application of 1/4 to 1/2 cup of complete organic fertilizer worked into the soil under each transplant is necessary for best results. Avoid excessive nitrogen as it will contribute to hollow stem. For large heads, space to 45cm (18 in.). Broccoli is given dolomite lime to a pH of 6.0-6.8 to make the best use of the available nutrients. Side-dress overwintering types in February with 1/8 cup per plant of fishmeal or high-nitrogen fertilizer.
DISEASE: Club root is the most serious disease in all brassicas. It will persist in the soil for more than 10 years. The common sources of infection are through transplants, manure, and contaminated tools and shoes. IT IS NOT SPREAD ON SEED. Increasing pH to 7.0 with dolomite lime and improving the drainage will prevent infection. Use long rotations (over 5 years) and plant brassicas in last year’s potato patch.
INSECTS: Aphids on broccoli heads should not be sprayed with insecticidal soap as this breaks down the naturally waxy coating of the head that can then decay. Use a strong water spray instead.
HARVEST: Cut off the central head, leaving as much stalk on the plant as possible. New side shoots will develop at each leaf junction. Keep them harvested before any yellow flowers appear, and the plant will keep on producing.
Open Pollinated - Spring Harvest