This past weekend I went seed shopping for broccoli. Broccoli is a cool season crop, meaning that it can take some frost without dying off and that it likes to mature in colder temperatures. The cool thing about cool season crops is that if you plan right you can get two plantings in, in one season. There are a couple things I was looking for and picking my seed varieties for this year: heat resistance and side shoots. I choose two varieties to plant this year. Both packets were produced by the Ferry-Morse Seed Company.
The problem with trying to grow broccoli in the spring is that if it gets too hot early, the broccoli will bolt or go to seed and your hard work won't pay off. Barbados Hybrid is said to produce well even in warmer areas. So I thought it would be a good choice for the spring planting. I plant to start them indoors and transplant them out when the ground is ready. The problem with just planting them out in the spring time is the ground is still cold so the seeds won't germinate quickly. Plus by starting them indoors I can get a harvest quickier before the warm temperatures hit.
For my second variety, I was only really concenred by choosing a variety that produces side shoots once the main head is harvested and that is what I will get with De Cicco. I will plant these in the summer time for a fall harvest. Since the soil is nice and warm in the summer, I can directly sow the seeds and they will germinate fast. When it's time to harvest them, the weather will be cooler, so the broccoli won't bolt.
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