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 Broccoli encompasses two slightly different vegetables from the same family; Calabrese, these form large green almost cauliflower-like heads, and sprouting broccoli, which as the name suggest throw out a mass of smaller, seperate heads or florets on long stems. One portion of boiled broccoli (100g) provides over half of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C reason enough to grow it!.


Purple-sprouting broccoli has great flavour, a long harvesting season and is extremely good for you. A single portion provides half your daily requirement of carotenoids, plus high levels of folic acid and vitamins A and C.

If you choose the right varieties, and time your seed sowing well, you can keep harvesting your crops from autumn through to early summer the following year. Purple-sprouting broccoli is extremely hardy, tolerating temperatures as low as -12°C, so it’s a good winter crop.

Like other brassicas, purple-sprouting broccoli thrives in a fairly heavy, alkaline soil. Avoid growing it on an exposed site, where the wind will buffet the stems and loosening the soil around the roots.  If the growing site is quite exposed use scoffold netting to act as a windbreak and stake securely to reduce wind rock.

Benefits of the Broccoli

  • Excellent source of vitamin C.
  • Useful source of Beta Carotene.
  • Contains folate, iron and potassium.
  • May help protect against cancer.
  • None
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