Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Growing Piracicaba Broccoli

Piracicaba Broccolie 2
Yesterday evening I went into the garden to take some pictures before the rains came. Low and behold, I spotted this little beauty! Admittedly, I danced around a bit. I just couldn't contain my excitement given the fact that all of my fall broccoli had succumbed to pests last year. This will be the first time I get to taste homegrown broccoli.

I started the seeds in March and then transplanted them into the garden at the beginning of April. This is an interesting variety called, "Piracicaba," which was specifically bred by the University of Piracicaba in Brazil to be heat tolerant. Given this fact, I'm crossing my fingers that it will go on to produce all summer long in our New England climate.

Michelle of Seed to Table fame was kind enough to share with me some factoids regarding this variety. Apparently, the main crown only grows to about 2 inches in diameter in her garden and then goes on to produce many side shoots. Already I'm noticing that the buds on this small crown (about an inch in diameter at the moment) are much more pronounced and plump than conventional broccoli. And from what I've read, the miniature head and shoots produced by this variety are leafier in appearance and milder and sweeter in taste.

Piracicaba Broccoli
I spotted another mini crown developing on one of my other plants. Needless to say, I will be keeping an eye on them in the coming days and weeks to see how it all unfolds.

I find a great deal of satisfaction in growing vegetable and fruit varieties that are not widely produced or commercially available in our area. Again, a big THANKS to Marie from 66 Square Feet for sending me the seeds!

22 comments:

  1. Love the broccoli pic Thomas....I also had a broccoli discovery in my garden today! : )

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  2. Congratulations on your successful broccoli! A heat tolerant, mild and sweet variety sounds great to me. I'll need to check it out and try it next fall. Thanks for the tip.

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  3. Lovely broccoli photo. I’m sure you will get nice harvest!

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  4. I'm growing that variety in my garden for the first year too. I hope it is heat tolerant since it seems to be growing very slowly for me. I'm nowhere near the bud stage yet.

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  5. Lovely Thomas. It sounds like a wonderful variety- my little broc seedlings are being ravaged by those worms. YUCK!

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  6. Daphne and Kelly- sorry to hear/read about your cutworm issues. They ravaged my veggies last fall but haven't made an appearence yet this year.

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  7. Wonderful pic, and ever since I started reading your blog, I've learnt a lot about growing vegetables. You rock, Thomas!

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  8. I hope those little worms continue to stay away from that broccoli, it is GORGEOUS!

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  9. I adore broccoli - one of my most favorite veggies. Mine are doing well too but not quite started on the central head formation yet - soon!

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  10. have you ever made "enchanted broccoli forest" from the cookbook of the same name? It's a molly katzen. your little guy would LOVE it.

    i love broccoli and your photos are fab!

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  11. Karen- haha, no I've never heard of that. I'll have to do some googlinh.

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  12. Beautiful! I forgot to tell you that the leaves on the shoots are delicious also, no need to remove them.

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  13. I reckon we've just got one meals worth of Purple Sprouting Broccoli left from the crop I planted last year. It was slow to get going this spring because of the harsh winter we had, but it really came good and has been fantastic! (Last-Born is sick of eating it!!!)

    I've just planted out some Broccoli Romanesco for the first time - that's the one with the pointed heads full of Fibernacci patterns. Can't wait to see how it does :)

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  14. Totally off subject here.. but, you seem to know what you are doing so my question is this.. how do you keep rabbits from eating your garden? I dont see any fencing. I ask because the rabbits are eating my whole garden up.. to date they have eaten tomoatoes, peas, beans, peppers (mild and jalapeno)garlic.. yes, garlic, turnips , radishes and beets. I am at wits end here. I have tried organic and non-organic store bought sprays to no avail. I fenced my raised beds with poultry wire, but the rest of my garden is unfenced. Any help you can offer will be tried and appreciated.

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  15. When I saw your post I went and looked at my Piracicabas, and they seem to be about the same stage as yours. After all the hoopla written about this variety, I am really looking forward to trying it!

    Great photos!

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  16. gardengrl- I actually do have wire fencing around my garden. The mesh measures 2 by 4 inches, which is just small enough to keep them out. when I put up my fence, I made sure to bury the fence a few inches.

    You might also want to try sprinkling blood meal all around the perimeter of your garden. I've been told the smell of blood deters them.

    Hope that helps!

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  17. Oh they look nice! Nothing better then broccoli from the garden.

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  18. Nice broccoli, I'm growing the same variety this year, but my plants are not forming heads yet. When did you sowed seeds and when did you transplanted them?
    Good to know the leaves are delicious also.

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  19. Hi,
    Thanks for nice & informatics post!!!

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  20. Excited to be growing this for the first time, my seedling source says she harvests broccoli spears all year, that they just keep growing back in our cool Pacific Northwest climate.

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  21. I would like to get some of these seeds....?I am a Master Gardener in North Carolina.....

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