• DELIVERY INFO: Spring Plants will be delivered from late April 2021 onwards Please see FAQs for further info.

Purple Sprouting Broccoli (Autumn)

£5.99

Out of stock

Easy to grow, beautiful colour and fantastic flavour
An extremely healthy and tasty vegetable that tends to be expensive when bought in the shops and also is so much more flavoursome when harvested and eaten fresh. This delicious variety of purple sprouting broccoli will produce fantastic coloured broccoli spears during the winter months, possibly as early as November/December if mild.

Number of plants: 10

Variety: Purple Sprouting (organic*)

In the kitchen: Packed full of flavour when lightly steamed, stir-fried or boiled in just a few minutes so that the florets become tender. Drizzle with melted butter and lemon juice to make a delicious side dish.

Delivery Info: Available to order now for delivery in September and October. Please see FAQs for up-to-date delivery info.

Planting/Growing Advice: Plant in September and October approx 40cm apart in raised beds, traditional veg patches or in pots and planters. They will grow quite quickly while the weather is relatively warm in autumn, and then will slow down in the colder months, picking up again as the weather warms up in spring. They are frost/snow hardy and can be grown outside quite happily. Protect from pigeons and slugs. As they get taller, earth them up or stake them so that they don’t get knocked over in strong winds.

When to harvest: Wait until the plant starts sprouting in spring, then harvest individual spears as they appear. You should enjoy several week of cropping time.

*Transplants suitable for organic growing.

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A sunny spot with fertile soil

Broccoli and calabrese plants all need a sunny site with deep, firm, moisture retentive soil.

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Raised beds & traditional veg plots are best

Broccoli and calabrese will prefer to be grown in raised beds or a well dug veg patch.

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How far apart

30-40cm is about right

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Protect with a brassica collar

You can make these easily out of cardboard. Cut a 10cm diameter disc, cut into the centre and make a slit so that you can pop it around the base of the plant. This is to prevent cabbage root fly larvae from hatching by the base of the plant and burying under the soil to eat the roots.

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Net against pigeons & butterflies

Pigeons love brassica plants and will easily destroy a crop of young plants in a morning. Meanwhile, cabbage white butterflies are attracted to brassicas and lay eggs on the leaves. When the eggs hatch, the caterpillars are quick to nibble away the leaves and strip the plant bare. To protect against both these pests, cover plants with fine mesh netting or horticultural fleece.

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Earth up as plants get taller

When plants start to grow a little taller, it is worth earthing them up at the base to keep them stable, particularly as we come into autumn with windier weather. Simply bring a little soil up around the base of the plant, like a molehill, and pat down firmly. You could stake them if they are in a particularly windy spot.

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Keep well watered during dry spells

Try not to let the soil dry out, instead keeping the plants well watered so that the soil is consistently moist but not waterlogged.

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When to harvest

You will see the first broccoli spear/head forming at the top of the plant. Harvest it before the florets start to open by cutting off with a knife. Afterwards, you’ll see new spears appearing on side shoots, harvest these as they reach the right size and whilst the florets are still closed.

Pigeons

Pigeons will eat the foliage right down to the ribs/veins. Keep plants netted if you have a lot of pigeons around.


Caterpillars

Lots of holes appearing in leaves is a sure sign of caterpillars. They soon grow, and the holes grow too. Check the underside of leaves and you may see tiny eggs – wipe them off with kitchen paper – or caterpillars themselves. Keep plants netted against butterflies.


Slugs & Snails

Protect plants well from slugs, especially when they are young and vulnerable. Beer traps work well and you may need to to do a dusk patrol with a head torch and bucket to remove slugs if they get really bad!


Cabbage Root Fly

Cabbage flies lay eggs at the base of brassica plants. When the eggs hatch, the larvae bury into the ground and feed on the roots. The plants eventually wilt and die. Prevention is key – use brassica collars (see growing advice section)


Club Root

This is a fungal disease that leads to the swelling and distortion of roots, and plants will be stunted. Avoid growing brassicas in the same bed for two years consecutively if this happens. Add plenty of organic matter to the soil.


Storage Tips

Harvest them as you want to eat them – they will store in the fridge for a few days, but are much better cooked fresh.

Ways to cook

Broccoli and calabrese are delicious simply steamed and served with a little butter or olive oil. They are also great for stir frying with a pinch of freshly chopped chilli and ginger.

When we deliver
We deliver these plug plants between September and mid/late October, although it’s a little dependent on the weather.

You can order from…
These plug plants are available to be ordered now and we’ll despatch them as soon as they are big enough to both handle the journey to your garden and handle life outside the poly tunnel.

Do I need to sign for them?
All our plant orders are dispatched with an overnight courier* to mainland UK and do not need to be signed for when they are delivered, but will be left somewhere safe. When placing your order, please let us know where you would like the plants left if you are not in when the courier delivers.

We will keep you posted
You will receive an email approximately a week before your order is dispatched and another on the day your plants are packed and leave us so you know to expect and prepare for their arrival.