This delicious, mineral rich vegetable can be planted now from seed or seedling for a late autumn and winter harvest.
Choose a sunny site with some wind protection.
Broccoli will produce crops in average soil but prefer those enriched with compost and well-rotted manures.
They love lime which strengthens them against blights and fungus.
Many gardeners also add a general plant food and/or nitrate of soda to the soil several weeks before planting or as a side dressing once the plants are established.
This extra nitrogen can be supplied organically by planting into soil which has recently grown a healthy crop of peas, beans, or other nitrogen-producing legumes.
Keep the young plants moist and growing strongly.
If growth is checked by drying out the plants are often permanently stunted.
If conditions remain dry consider mulching the plants. Guard against the caterpillar of white butterfly with derris dust, suitable insecticide or herbal spray.
When harvesting, cut the heads while still in tight bud with a generous stem.
New smaller side shoots will soon appear and can continue into spring.
These slender side stems often resemble asparagus in taste and texture.
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