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Early Purple Sprouting Broccoli

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Early Purple Sprouting Broccoli (59 days)


Purple sprouting broccoli is an old English type broccoli. 

Early Purple Sprouting Broccoli is not only a colorful addition to salads, but it is very flavorful.  We slightly cook them in the microwave and toss them in salads.

I was stunned at the size of this particular strain when I went to see it in our grower's field.  It was huge, about 3' tall and FULL of large purple side shoots. 

This is a fall planted heirloom broccoli that is not ready for harvest till spring. Will not produce side shoots until it over winters, but then look out because you will get a great supply of purple shoots.  Remember to keep them harvested.

Very frost hardy purple broccoli.  We also eat the leaves over the winter when healthy greens are so hard to find.  Just thinly slice them and sautee with garlic, olive oil, a little salt and add a touch of balsamic when removed from the stove. What an amazing addition of color to your garden and a great use of space over winter when most gardens sit empty.

I've heard a few less experienced gardeners complain about the size of this purple broccoli compared to the number of side shoots.  I don't find this to be true because we don't grow this broccoli just for its purple heads, but for its leaves as well.  It provides a great source of healthy greens to our family and the farm animals when everything else is dead.   It also starts heading out well before any traditional heading broccoli could be harvested because it is already established. 

Sustainability is about learning to use many types of plants during different times of the year to provide the nutrition your family and farm needs.  We do not live in a mono culture and any successful farm or garden shouldn't be planted as one.  A great example is last year when we got a very late frost that killed most heading broccoli, but purple sprouting and romanesco were unharmed. Our planet is changing.  Learn to diversify your plantings and you will succeed when others fail. 

Seed Planting Depth

Seeds per gram

Germination Temperature

Days to Germination

Row Spacing

Plant Spacing

100' Row Yield


1/4" 40-60 55-65 7-14 24" 15-18" 35 lb. Full

Planting Tips:

Start spring seedlings 4-6 weeks before last frost.  Start fall transplants 2-3 months before first frost.  Plant in ground when 3” tall and bury stem 1” deeper than they were in your pots.  When transplanting, enrich soil with a little blood and bone meal.  Once main head is cut, harvest side shoots for several weeks.

Heirloom seeds are hardy, but always take care with your garden seeds to give them the appropriate amount of moisture - don't let the vegetable seeds dry out prematurely, and don't overwater and possibly have them rot.


3 heads broccoli, cut lengthwise into spears
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup parmesan cheese (freshly grated from the block is best)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400°F
Spread the broccoli and garlic evenly over a nonstick cookie sheet.  drizzle the olive oil over the broccoli and sprinkle with salt and a generous amount of pepper.  Drizzle most of the lemon juice over the sheet but reserve some for later.
Cook for 10 minutes, then remove from oven and sprinkle the cup of cheese evenly over the broccoli.  Cook for another 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted and become a crisp shell over the broccoli.
Remove from oven, drizzle with remaining lemon juice, and serve!
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