Calabrese, which generally crops in summer and autumn, is often called broccoli, especially in shops and supermarkets. The more old fashioned cut-and-come-again sprouting broccolis crop in the spring, both give excellent health benefits and are often referred to as 'superfoods'.
They are brassicas and were originally cultivated in Italy, where the name Broccoli was derived from the Latin brachium which means branch or arm. The ubiquitous Calabrese was named after the Italian province of Calabria where it first grew. Read more
How to grow Broccoli
Both types prefer very rich, moisture-retentive soil and a reasonably sunny position. In the autumn, dig-in as much compost or well-rotted manure (such as Orgro) as possible. Seed can be sown in a well-prepared seed bed from March to May, however to minimise root disturbance, they are best started off undercover in pots or modules and planted out when about 10cm(4in.) high.
Sow broccoli seeds thinly to a depth of 1cm (1/2in.) and cover with a fine layer of compost or vermiculite, transplant from June (depending on variety) leaving approx. 45cm (18in.) between plants and rows (depending on variety). Use Cabbage Collars around the base of the seedlings if cabbage root fly is a problem. Keep well-watered and feed occasionally with a high nitrogen fertiliser such as sulphate of ammonia. Show less