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  • Writer's pictureAlex

San Marzano Broccoli

This variety is very popular in Italy, and we all know how much the Italians love food, so I can assure you this is an amazing one to grow. These are typically planted in late summer and harvest throughout winter, however can also be grown in summer!

It's a quick grower and should reach maturity in about 60 days at about 12 inches tall. Although not technically a sprouting broccoli, it grows very similarly with beautiful tender leaves and small heads.

This will be on your plate within eight weeks. If you harvest carefully, leaving the lower two leaves intact, they will often resprout several times. If you harvest very young, like a cut and come again salad, there is little need to thin. If you want more than one or two harvests, thin to 10 cm between plants and cut when they are 20cm high.Unfussy in terms of its water and nutrient requirements

Getting started

Make holes in the soil as deep as your fingernail. Add a couple of seeds to each hole and cover with soil. Place somewhere warm and bright like a windowsill and keep the soil moist, but not drenched.

After about 10 days when their first set of true leaves* start to grow, thin the seedlings to 5-10 cm apart. Make yourself a congratulatory salad out of your trimmings!

*True leaves are the second set of leaves. The first set are the seedling leaves

Growing on

Keep the soil moist but not sodden. Depending on your weather this may require watering every few days. Check the soil with your fingertip up to the first knuckle. Water once the top layer starts to dry out.

Once plants are better established, and at less risk from pests, thin again to 10 cm apart. This should be around 4 weeks after planting - the halfway point!

Munch time

Pick the tops and flower shoots when young and tender. You can cook it like you would sprouting broccoli, or also enjoy it raw in a salad - just don't let it get too big as it can get tough. If you do, don't panic. It will still cook down nice and tender.


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