Green Dragon & Purple Sprouting Broccoli

I pulled out my remaining mature broccoli plants (with one exception) to make room for the tomatoes I planted last weekend.  Thus it seems an ideal time to pontificate on the varieties I grew this year.

Frankly, I’m not sure I was super impressed.  I only grew two varieties this year – both from seedlings I acquired from my dad who bought them as seedlings.  I suppose when you’re getting something for free you can’t complain too much but I think I will anyway.

The varieties I grew were Green Dragon and Purple Sprouting Broccoli.

The Green Dragon flowered very early – it didn’t bolt it just produced very quickly and as a result the initial heads were quite small.

The follow up side shoots were OK but because the plant put most of early energy into flowering it is only now big enough to produce a decent volume of shoots.

I want to be growing tomatoes now having feasted on broccoli all winter so frankly side shoots now just aren’t that helpful!  The only problem I had with broccoli this year I had with the green dragon plants – they seemed to get a mould or mildew that grew on any side shoots that I didn’t pick immediately.  I didn’t really investigate what it was, but it happened to both my and my fathers plants so I’m presuming it came with the seedlings so to speak.  The flavour was good though.

The purple sprouting broccoli had the opposite problem – it grew really, really big before it decided to do anything at all.  It did eventually produce some nice purple heads in good numbers.

But because I wanted to plant tomatoes I had to pull out the plants before I’d really made the most of all the side shoots.

So all in all neither variety was perfect.  My feeling is next year I will plant different varieties and see if they perform better.  I have had good results from Marathon Hybrid in the past so I may go back to that and a sprouting variety.  I personally don’t think that the purple broccoli varieties taste radically different to the green ones but maybe my broccoli palate is underdeveloped.  I think the only real reason for seeking them out, other than if they perform well for you, is for variety in the garden (they go green when cooked).

This entry was posted in Brassicas and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Green Dragon & Purple Sprouting Broccoli

  1. Mark Willis says:

    I am a huge fan of Purple Sprouting Broccoli! It’s biggest advantage for me is that it is very hardy, and will survive a cold Winter and still deliver a good crop in the early Spring, when not much else is available. If I had to choose between broccoli and tomatoes I would be very hard pressed!

  2. Liz says:

    Really glad you commented – thats really useful to know! I love how plants perform so differently for different people and in different environments. You must either be a huge broccoli fan or severely undervalue tomatoes. I like it but I don’t really regard it as indispensible. Tomatoes on the other hand are to me the holy grail of vegetable growing, and the best food in the world ever….

  3. Miss Two whole-heartedly agree with you on your opinion of tomatoes Liz – it’s such a pity they give her hives because she just loves them so! I grew my broccoli from seed this year. It was a very unplanned sort of planting, I found the packet when I was digging around in the garage, who knows when I bought them. I quickly threw them in the ground one more, no thought to where or when I was planting them. Later I read they do better started in seed trays, oops. The plants came up well and then were severely attacked by caterpillars so I wrote them off and neglected them. Next thing I knew they were huge, healthy and sprouting some lovely heads. Each plant gave me a decent sized main head and then enough side shoots for a couple of meals. All past attempts at growing this vegetable has ended in it bolting to seed before producing anything. I think this time it actually helped that is wasn’t in full sun all day as it had been in the past. I hope your efforts next year are more rewarding.

    Oh and if they had pick sprouting broccoli I might be able to convince Miss Two to at least try it. Apparently there is not enough pink foods in the world.

    • Liz says:

      My daughter would love pink sprouting broccoli too – I find it disturbing how the cult of pink spreads so widely – having said that at 5 she is slowly recovering…and will occasionally wear, and eat other colours….Your broccoli growing sounds excellent. I often find its the crops we have the lowest expectations of that somehow do the best….

  4. ulli says:

    I planted Green Dragon broccoli seedlings in August and they have all grown – and continue to sprout – large and abundant leaves, but not one has produced a head. I’ll use a few of the smaller leaves in the kitchen but the rest will now be pulled out to make way for tomatoes. Green Dragon has been a very disappointing variety.

    • Liz says:

      That’s really interesting that you also had issues – where are you gardening? It may be that they would have produced heads soon though.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *