Wednesday 13 May 2015

Sowing Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Having just finished cropping the PSB I sowed this time last year, the moment has come to sow more seeds for next year's crop. With PSB you certainly need to be patient and plan ahead. They say that what's worth having is worth waiting for, and if the worth is proportional to the wait, this PSB should be pretty good!

This time I am going to grow three different varieties. They are "Red Spear" from Plants of Distinction, "Rudolph" from Thompson and Morgan, and "Early Purple" from Marshalls.

The pack of "Early Purple" was kindly provided to me free of charge by Marshalls, as a review item. The "Rudolph" was one of those which was offered free if you bought any two other packets of seeds from Thompson and Morgan, and the "Red Spear" ones were the remainder of a pack left from 2013. The latter, being quite old, may not germinate as well as the others, so I will sow a few more of them just in case.

One point of feedback I would like to make straight away is that I do not like the fact that the Marshalls PSB seeds were provided loose inside their paper packet, and not sealed in an inner foil pack like most others are. I think this will mean that they will not keep fresh so well - and they are more difficult to handle / store once opened.

As well as the PSB, I am also going to try growing this Savoy Cabbage "Mila" - another review item from Marshalls. It looks ideal for my requirements - a compact variety well-suited to small gardens, and one which crops in the late Winter when not much else is available.

I have sowed several of each type in some smallish pots, and I will transplant them to separate pots when they have two proper leaves. By that time I should be able to judge which are the best specimens.

There is not much to see at present, just some pots with compost in them, but here's the evidence anyway...


  1. I can't imagine having to sow seeds a year before harvest. I would love to one day try PSB but doubt it would survive our winters, no matter how much protection I gave it.

    I agree with you on having an inner packet - here it is usually made of waxed paper. Makes for much easier handling. I actually keep them when the seeds run out and re-use them for small seeds in packets that don't have them.

  2. the little grip seal bags are ideal for seeds, they also call them druggies bags for obvious reasons, our PSB has done well and I am still harvesting it, I will get some on the go in the next week :-)

  3. I hope to sow some of the white sprouting broccoli if I can find where I've hidden it. Yes it does take a long time but I've missed not picking my own these past couple of years. Shame about the lack of an inner packet isn't it.

  4. Hi Mark,
    Strangely enough up here in the north my psb ,sprouts and cavolo nero are about 3 weeks ahead of yours.After repotting the "best specimens" the thinned out ones left in the trays now look better than them!
    As regards the packaging.I buy continental ones at 2 euros a time with just a large outer foil packet but they seem to last fine.Had one packet from Madeira which grew trombone squashes 4 years running.

  5. The only time any of the seeds I get come with inner packets is when the seed is tiny. Sometimes I'll add a little plastic zip packet myself. Especially if I think I'll have the seed for a long time.

  6. It appears your spring garden is well under way! I look forward to seeing how everything grows and what you do with it all. I agree about the seed packets; I don't like it when they come unsealed in the package. They are less likely to be fresh.

  7. Ah! the beloved PSB - that is the only brassica I am growing this year - two different types half a dozen of each - the end result is worth the wait.

    1. So you grow 12 PSB plants? Don't you get a glut of it? (I'm presuming you are not feeding a big family...)

  8. You always seem so organised at planning ahead. I find that a bit of a challenge at times in the garden.

  9. We stopped growing PSB as it was always infested with whitefly but if our mesh covering works maybe we will try it again.


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