Broccoli, Red Arrow Purple Sprouting (Organic)
Brassica oleracea. 210-240 days.
Overwintering purple sprouting broccoli (PSB) is a very special treat for mild winter climate zones. Along with overwintering cauliflower, PSB is a superb food source during the hunger gap of March – April (at least for those of us whose winters do not usually drop below 15°F). With clusters of vibrant purple broccoli florets that re-sprout for multiple harvests, these big plants are quite impressive. We have trialed many varieties of PSB and Red Arrow has been our favorite for winter hardiness and reliability, even beating the hybrids. Early maturing for a PSB, they sometimes begin sprouting in late February when winters are mild. Days to maturity are variable depending on when the seed is sown, but plants will produce in the spring with just about any summer sowing date. We sow early to mid-summer for nice, big plants. In areas with harsher winters, plants sown in late summer will be smaller and therefore often overwinter more successfully. Planting in the summer for harvest the following spring may seem like a long wait, but it is well worth it. We originally sourced this strain in England, where PSB originated as a specialty crop. Recipient of the United Kingdom’s Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit and we believe they know good PSB when they see it.
Seed produced by Deep Harvest Farm on Whidbey Island, Washington.
As required by the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Washington Crucifer Quarantine, all Brassica family seed lots have been tested and found negative for blackleg (Phoma lingam) by an approved, certified lab.
Sow indoors in flats with good potting soil June through late July for harvest February through March. Transplant into the garden about 3-4 weeks after sprouting. May also be direct sown. Not for summer production, but a great choice for winter gardens in our area.
Collect seed from 50 or more plants when pods are dry. Dance on seed stalks on a tarp to thresh. Collect seeds and winnow to clean. Isolate when flowering from other flowering Brassicas of the same species, B. oleracea, by ½ mile.