Regular readers know that I am a big fan of Purple Sprouting Broccoli (PSB), and that I grow some every year. This year I have just 3 plants - one each of "Early Purple", "Rudolph" and "Red Spear". I made a conscious decision to go for fewer plants this time. Last year I had six, and it was too many: we were bored of broccoli before the crop was finished. Having fewer plants also means that in all likelihood they will be individually a lot bigger. Look at the size of this:
I think it is about 5 feet tall. Hopefully it won't get much taller. I say "it" but I really mean "they". All three plants are a very similar size. Mine are firmly tied to sturdy wooden stakes because they could easily be blown over if we get any severe gales. Despite their size, PSB plants have surprisingly shallow roots.
The embryonic flower-shoots which will eventually turn into the "spears" that we eat are now visible in the leaf axils.
When I took the netting off these plants at the weekend I gave their bed a general tidy-up, removing a few small weeds and a few dead leaves that had fallen off the PSB. This is good practice because decaying leaves can harbour slugs and moulds. I also dug in a few handfuls of Growmore granulated plant food to give the plants the nutrients they will need to produce a good crop for me. Everything is on track at present, so let's hope it stays that way!
Anyone else out there growing PSB this year? And if so, what varieties have you got? I'm always on the lookout for good varieties to try.