Productive, Italian heirloom broccoli especially good for freezing.
De Cicco is an excellent choice for extended harvests for home gardeners. Vigorous plants yield 3-4", blue-green heads. After cutting the main head, more side shoots develop, producing many more small to medium-sized heads through the summer. Good for steaming, stir-fries and for freezing. Sow indoors six weeks before transplanting outdoors. Certified Organic.
A cool season crop. Sow broccoli seeds in average soil in early spring, or in midsummer for fall crop. In Deep South, Gulf and Pacific Coast areas, sow from fall to early spring. Start seeds indoors about 8 weeks before outdoor planting time. In rows 24" apart, sow seeds thinly and cover with 1/4" of fine soil. Keep evenly moist. Place containers in a south facing window or under grow lights until seedlings emerge. Seedlings emerge in 10-21 days. Provide seedlings plenty of light after they sprout - supplemental grow-lights can help if a sunny enough place indoors is difficult to provide.
How to Grow
When growing broccoli plants, thin to stand about 16" apart when seedlings are 1-2" high. Move plants to a sheltered location outdoors for one week before transplanting into the garden to "harden off." After the last heavy frost transplant hardened-off seedlings outdoors to an area with rich, well-drained soil, in full sun. Set them 1-2’ apart in rows 2’ apart.
Once planted out, floating row covers help keep pests at bay.
Pick broccoli when heads have tight, firm buds- about 50-60 days after transplant. Cut off central head along with 6" of stem so broccoli plants will produce smaller heads, which you can also harvest. Eat the heads raw or cooked.