Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > July 2017 > BONNIE'S GARDEN--Time to Think Fall Already?

BONNIE'S GARDEN--Time to Think Fall Already?

Seeds for cool season veggies are in and I’ve already dug through them and picked out my favorites.  I always plant spinach and kale—they even make it over the winter here.  I always plant Little Finger carrots—in a window box, no less.  They’re a crunchy sweet mini-carrot that does particularly well in containers.

I always do either lettuces or a mesclun blend—I particularly like a mesclun blend called Chef’s Medley or one called Sassy Salad—both a mix of lettuces with spicy greens like arugula or mustard throw in.  And I always plant snap peas.  This spring I tried a variety called Cascadia.  It only got about two feet tall, so I didn’t even stake it.  I grew in it a couple of big pots on my deck.  Nice days in the spring, I’d sit in my rocking chair and snack on those sweet crispy pods.  I’ll definitely do these this fall.

I always plant a few cabbages, beets, cauliflower, but the real king has got to be broccoli.  I love my broccoli.  When I was a kid, I actually liked broccoli, as an adult, I love it.  I eat it cooked or raw.  And it’s easy to grow my own.

Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family—and a relative to cauliflower, kale, brussels sprouts, etc.  The botanical name is Brassica oleracea capitata.  The name ‘broccoli’ comes from the Italian “broccolo” meaning the flowering head of a cabbage.

Broccoli is native to the Mediterranean and was cultivated in Italy for more than a thousand years, but virtually unknown in Great Britain until a few hundred years ago.  It did not become popular in America until the 1920’s, although Thomas Jefferson did grow some in his garden at Monticello.

I’ll start seeds for broccoli in another week or two.  I’ll start them in little pots and move the pots into mostly shade on days when the temps are over 90.  If I had a nice sunny window this time of year, I’d start them inside, but when the trees leaf out in the spring, my house becomes a green cave.  It won’t get any direct sun until the leaves drop in the fall.

I’m debating on whether to plant my old stand-by, Waltham 29, or try either Romanesco or Summer Purple.  Romanesco is a gorgeous chartreuse Italian heirloom that is supposedly a cross between cauliflower and broccoli—with the texture of cauliflower, but the flavor of broccoli.  I bought several at our Farmers Market last fall and loved them.  Summer Purple broccoli is a pretty purple and is supposed to be a very robust and strong producer.  I’ll let you know which one I go for.

If you have tried either Romanesco or Summer Purple, let me know.  I’d love some feedback.
Posted: 7/25/2017 by Bonnie Pega | with 0 comment(s)
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