The purple sprouting broccoli seedlings are now picking up a little momentum. We have to cut them a little slack as their sowing was delayed this year, a month late in fact. The strange summer weather has forced us to change our approach. Last year we sowed them straight into the ground in early June and they went on their merry way, this year we know if we’d tried the same thing there would be no sign of them now. Having their tender young stems in the garden would be like opening a Michelin-starred restaurant for slugs. So they remain in trays in the glasshouse and will be tiresomely brought outside for fresh air on sunny days like grannies in a nursing home.
It is worth the effort, PSB is a powerhouse of a vegetable that kept us in greens for three whole late-winter months with relentless reliability, providing both leaf and flower to the kitchen over a lengthy period when little else is on offer. In the quest for self-sufficiency the purple sprouting broccoli is a major player. It has a beautifully refined flavour and tender texture, if it wasn’t for the fact that it grows so abundantly we would regard this vegetable as highly as the Asparagus.
So undercover they grow in single celled containers where they will be nurtured until such a time as I feel confident of leaving them out, maybe during the Indian Summer that I am so optimistically waiting for.
There is still time to sow this great vegetable and when February comes around you will be thankful you did. Sow the seed now in containers or directly into the ground if you feel confident of keeping the slugs at bay.
Sky blue with cloud. Temp 15c.
Time for G&T