Thursday, 19 April 2012

Bye Bye, Broccoli

The Purple Sprouting Broccoli season is coming to an end in my part of the world, and before it does I want one more chance to show it off.

This plant is one of the "Red Arrow" ones. I think this is perhaps the best variety I have ever grown. It produces loads of big, dark purple spears.

This is a different plant of the same variety.

Here's a zoomed version of one of the spears seen in the previous photo, glistening in the sunshine and covered in tiny raindrops.

It's not only the flowering spears of the broccoli that are attractive; the leaves are good too (to look at, I mean, not to eat). Look at the line of little drops of moisture along the edge of this one - almost like tiny beads. This photo has been rotated for artistic effect by the way, and the big raindrops are not actually defying the laws of gravity.

In the kitchen... Spears of Red Arrow at the left, and paler spears of Rudolph at the right.

Red Arrow
I shall be sowing seeds for next year's crop very soon. PSB's annual cycle is 10 months of growing and 2 months of cropping! Now it is time to dig up the old PSB plants to make room for the next crop. In their place I will be planting Runner Beans, so I need to get on and prepare the bed. Beans appreciate a rich moisture-retentive soil, so I will have to add lots of home-made compost to bulk up the dry sandy soil. Did I mention that Runner Beans are my next favourite vegetable? (sometimes...)


  1. My purple sprouting broccoli plants have been dug up already, though they gave a decent harvest. It's a long wait now until we're harvesting again.

  2. That is a long time to wait for a crop. I think the longest that I wait (well except for perennials) is 8 months for garlic.

  3. You seem to have done really well with the broccoli. Wish I could say the same!

  4. Artistuic effect of vegetables now whatever next?

  5. No wonder I got impatient with my PSB - that is a really long time without much happening. At least it has the decency to look pretty though.

  6. My broccoli is at an end too - and after one or two hiccups I have been really pleased with the results. I am growing Red Arrow this year - hope mine look as good as yours. We will have to compare notes next year.

  7. Wow! I've grown purple sprouting broccoli and a variety of raabs but I don't remember them looking this nice. I'll have to keep an eye out in case 'Red Arrow' is available in the states.

    Just planted my runner beans yesterday -- a whole row this year! Our natural supermarket used to carry canned runner bean seeds and it was one of my favorite products. I don't know what happened to them, but the beans are incomparably huge and meaty -- love them (and the green pods)!

  8. Are the leaves in edible or just not normally eaten. Seems a pity to not try to use it all up. A quick blanch then saute, a dash of vinegar.... perhaps?


Thank you for taking time to leave me a comment! Please note that Comment Moderation is enabled for older posts.