This heirloom strain has been around since the 1800s and is still the standard for which others are judged! Will produce and produce until hard frost. Excellent flavor and its hardiness makes it a winner. Cook the leaves for a good substitute for collards.
Common name: Calabrese broccoli
Botanical name: Brassica oleracea
Type: Hardy annual to 10 F
Scarification/Stratification: None needed
Sow temp/season: 55 – 70 F early fall or early spring; germination in a week or so.
Sow depth/spacing: 1/4 inch at 3 inch spacing
Final spacing: 12 to 18 inches
Final height/spread: 18 – 24 inches high and 12 inch spread
pH range: 6 – 8
Soil type: Well-drained soil that holds water.
Nutrition: Heavy feeder, likes rich compost and low Nitrogen.
Drainage: Doesn’t like wet feet.
Sun: Full sun to partial shade. In the fall plantings, ensure that it is blocked from morning sun to protect from frost/sun damage.
Time to maturity: 80 days to harvest
Hilling: Up to 2 inches if necessary.
Suckering: Will send out side shoots of flowers when head is cut (only the head, leaving lower leaves)
Propagation: Plant in minimum of 1 1/2 inch plugs or direct seed.
Hybridization: Space all brassica species 1000 feet away to keep strain pure.
Uses: Leaves and flowers eaten raw or cooked.