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Broccoli, Romanesco

Short Description

With beautiful, apple-green whorled heads, this variety has been a culinary delight since the 16th century.

Full Description

Romanesco is the preeminent Italian heirloom variety and was first documented in Italy in the 16th century. Its crisp, beautiful apple-green whorled heads impart an altogether pleasing, nutty taste. Most often enjoyed raw, the broccoli, if lightly cooked, will retain its flavor and unique texture.
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Item#: 68155A
Order: 1 Pkt. (130 Seeds)
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$4.95
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Product properties

Days To Maturity

75-100 days

Fruit Size

8 inches

Sun

Full Sun

Spread

12 inches

Height

2-3 feet

Sow Method

Indoor Sow

Planting Time

Fall, Spring

Sow Time

2-4 weeks BLF

Thin

18 inches

Life Cycle

Annual

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  • How to Sow and Plant

    Broccoli may be direct sown or started indoors early for fall and spring crops, or purchased as transplants for a fall crop.

    Sowing Seed Indoors:

    • Start seeds indoors about 8 weeks before outdoor planting.
    • Sow seeds ¼ inches deep in seed-starting formula
    • Keep the soil moist at 70 degrees F
    • Seedlings emerge in 10-21 days
    • As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
    • Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
    • If you are growing in small cells, you may need to transplant the seedlings to 3 or 4 inch pots when seedlings have at least 3 pairs of leaves before transplanting to the garden so they have enough room to develop strong roots.
    • Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning. This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.

    Sowing Directly in the Garden:

    • Sow in average soil in a sunny location in early spring or in midsummer for a fall crop.
    • In rows 2 feet apart, sow seeds thinly and cover with ¼ inch of fine soil.
    • Keep evenly moist. Water gently.
    • Seedlings emerge in 10-21 days.
    • Thin to stand about 16 inches apart when seedlings are 1-2 inches high.

    Planting from Transplants in Fall:

    • Select a location in full sun with good rich moist organic soil.
    • Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones.
    • Dig a hole for each plant large enough to amply accommodate the root ball. Space plants 1-2 feet apart in rows 2 feet apart.
    • Carefully remove the plant from its pot and gently loosen the root ball with your hands to encourage good root development.
    • Place the top of the root ball even with the level of the surrounding soil. Fill with soil to the top of the root ball. Press soil down firmly with your hand.
    • Use the plant tag as a location marker.
    • Thoroughly water and apply a light mulch layer on top of the soil (1-2 inches) to conserve water and reduce weeds.

    How to Grow

    • While small, floating row covers will help to keep pests at bay.
    • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating. Avoid disturbing the soil around the plants when weeding.
    • Keep plants well watered during dry periods to promote rapid, uninterrupted growth.
    • Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.

    Harvest and Preserving Tips

    • Pick broccoli when the heads have tight, firm buds. This happens about 50-60 days after transplant.
    • Cut off central head along with 6 inches of stem so broccoli plants will produce smaller heads, which can also then be harvested.
    • Broccoli may be frozen for future use. Cut florets and blanch them. To do this, drop into boiling water for 2 minutes, then plunge into cold water to stop the cooking, drain and store in freezer bags or vacuum bags.
    • Eat the heads raw or cooked.
  • Days To Maturity
    75-100 days
    Fruit Size
    8 inches
    Sun
    Full Sun
    Spread
    12 inches
    Height
    2-3 feet
    Sow Method
    Indoor Sow
    Planting Time
    Fall, Spring
    Sow Time
    2-4 weeks BLF
    Thin
    18 inches
    Life Cycle
    Annual
  • Broccoli, Romanesco is rated 2.0 out of 5 by 5.
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from beautiful plant and wonderful taste I grow these in filtered partial shade in a raised bed and don't have much trouble getting big heads but they do take awhile. It is worth the wait, they have a great nutty taste.
    Date published: 2016-01-25
    Rated 1 out of 5 by from No Heads Grow 12 beautiful plants - Not one developed a head after 150 days!
    Date published: 2016-01-22
    Rated 1 out of 5 by from Went right to bolt This is a hard one to get the heads to form, they look great when a few inches then bolt. Read up on them from as many sources as you can, gets poor reviews all over. Also a reason you dont see this commercially grown, looks amazing but failure rate is high. I used seeds from Burpee.
    Date published: 2015-08-25
    Rated 2 out of 5 by from Beautiful Plant But... The foliage is beautiful on this plant! But I am still waiting for the heads to form/start...they are bigger than my standard broccoli plants (that are still in the garden producing plenty of sideshoots) even though they were both started at the same time. Makes me wonder about the 75-100 day maturity noted on the plant info. I'm going to let it go awhile longer but since I have limited space in our garden I am thinking about just ripping the plants out and giving my spring/summer seedlings a chance...any helpful notes would be appreciated Burpee!!
    Date published: 2015-04-30
    Rated 1 out of 5 by from No Heads Had beautiful stocks all year but it never headed up. All of my other broccoli varieties did fine. Romanesco was a bust.
    Date published: 2015-02-21
    • 2016-02-14T06:01CST
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