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Broccoli Seeds - De Cicco

Botanical - Brassica oleracea (Italica group)

Notes:

Seed Count:
375 Seeds
Rating:
Availability:
Usually despatched within 24 hours
Shipping:
See "Delivery Charge" tab below
SKU:
V-CAL-02
 
Price £1.38
 
 
Quantity:

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375 Seeds.

Other Names - Calabrese…

A popular and productive Italian variety that grows a good amount of tender side shoots after the main head has been harvested. The heads of the calabrese De Cicco do not all mature at the same time which allows the plant to be productive over a long period. The spears are tender and flavoursome and are delicious lightly steamed or when added to stir fries.

  • A fast growing popular Italian variety.
  • Plants are productive over a long season.
  • Very productive, after the main head is harvested many more side shoots follow.

Suitable For - Vegetable plot, raised beds

Sowing Months - March - July

Harvest - June - first frost


Gardening is about finding the right balance! Try growing Companion Plants close by to help deter pests.

  • Amaranth is great for attracting the ground beetle. This predatory beetle eats slugs, snails, slug and snail eggs, caterpillars and weed seed.
  • Cabbage white butterflies are drawn to nasturtiums. Try growing these flowers close by as a sacrificial plant. They will help to draw the pest away from the brassica crop.
  • Calendula (Pot marigold) attracts predatory insects such as lacewings, ladybirds and hoverflies who love to feast on aphids.
  • White mustard can help to draw the flea beetle away from the crop as the pest normally favours this leaf. Mint can also help to deter the flea beetle.
  • Low growing Limnanthes helps to keep the surrounding soil moist, supresses weed growth, attracts bees and hoverflies who's larvae feed on aphids. The plant can be dug in as green manure at the end of the season.

Soil Preperation

Add well rotted manure of compost a few months before sowing or planting (ideally the previous autumn). Lime if necessary as brassica's prefer alkaline soils. Remove weeds from the area. Add general purpose organic fertilizer 2 - 3 weeks before sowing or planting.

General InformationSowing & Planting Information
Habit Annual Module Grown & Transplants
Type Heritage variety Distance between plants 35 cm
Position Full sun Distance between rows 40 cm
Average height 75 cm Direct Sowing
Average spread 45 cm Sowing distance between plants 3 cm
Hardiness Hardy Distance between rows 40 cm
Overwintering No Sowing depth 1 cm
Soil Ph 6.5 - 7.5 (prefers alkaline soil) Germination temperature 8 to 20℃
    Days to germination 7 - 14 days

Sowing Guide

Early Sowing/Module Sowing

Sow 2 - 3 seeds per 4 cm module. As soon as the seedlings emerge reduce the heat and move to an area with good daylight exposure, a windowsill or greenhouse is ideal. Protect early sowings from frost. When the seedlings are large enough to handle thin to one strong seedling per module. Plant out 2 - 3 weeks later. Harden off over 7 - 10 days before planting out. Plant at the distance suggested above.
Set the plants about 3 cm deeper into the ground to what they were growing in the modules. Firm the soil well around each newly planted calabrese, brassicas dislike loose soil. Water well and cover with fine insect mesh.

Direct Sowing

When direct sowing it is best to start calabrese in a well prepared seed bed, then in a few weeks the young plants can be transplanted into their final growing position. Sow 1 seed every 3 cm at the depth and row distance suggested above. Cover the seeds with soil and water well. To avoid problems from brassica pests the crop can be covered with fine insect mesh at this stage. When the seedlings are big enough to handle thin to 9 cm between each plant, keeping the stronger plants, discarding the weak.
The young plants will be ready to transplant to their final growing position when they are about 8 - 10 cm tall. Water the plants well the day before transplanting to help reduce stress. Transplant at the distance suggested above.
Set the plants about 3 cm deeper into the ground to what they were growing in the seed bed. Firm the soil well around each newly planted calabrese, brassicas dislike loose soil. Water well and cover with fine insect mesh.


Growing On

Hoe regularly to keep weeds under control. Water well especially in dry weather. The plants will benefit from a mulch of compost to help keep the soil moist. Keep an eye on pests, prevention is key. It is highly recommended to grow all brassicas under fine plastic insect mesh especially during the summer months as pests can spoil a heathy crop in no time.


Harvesting

From an early sowing the first heads may be ready to cut in early July. Best to harvest before the flower bud shows any signs of opening, flowered calabrese heads loose their flavour. Cut the head with a sharp knife, try to avoid damaging the leaves. The forming of secondary heads will depend on the weather and pest damage.
A wet summer and autumn will allow the plants to produce several smaller heads. However if the weather is dry the plant will need to be watered regularly to ensure more heads form. Harvesting can last for about 2 months depending on how much water the plants receive and when the first frosts arrive.

TIP

The leaves of the Comfrey plant can be used to make a nutrient rich liquid fertilizer, used as a compost accelerator, a slug repellent and a nutritional mulch.

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