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Broccoli: Purple Sprouting and Other Overwintering Types

_Spacing:_ Grow like broccoli, 3 to 4 feet apart. _Sowing date:_ It is easiest to sow in April or early May, minimally fertigate a somewhat gnarly plant through the summer, push it for size in fall and winter, and then harvest it next March. With too early a start in spring, some premature flowering may occur in autumn; still, massive blooming will resume again in spring. Overwintering green Italian types such as ML423 (TSC) will flower in fall if sown before late June. These sorts are better started in a nursery bed around August 1 and like overwintered cauliflower, transplanted about 2 feet apart when fall rains return, then, pushed for growth with extra fertilizer in fall and winter. With nearly a whole year to grow before blooming, Purple Sprouting eventually reaches 4 to 5 feet in height and 3 to 4 feet in diameter, and yields hugely. _Irrigation:_ It is not essential to heavily fertigate Purple Sprouting, though you may G-R-O-W enormous plants for their beauty. Quality or quantity of spring harvest won't drop one bit if the plants become a little stunted and gnarly in summer, as long as you fertilize late in September to spur rapid growth during fall and winter.

Next: Root System Vigor in the Cabbage Family

Previous: Broccoli: Italian Style

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