Monday, February 18, 2013

Best Broccoli Varieties to Grow in the North

Apollo Broccoli
There are plenty of broccoli varieties to grow in the north. The best one’s have shorter days to maturity. Always start seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before the average last frost date or buy transplants from the local plant nursery for a healthy and productive harvest in the north.

Mini Broccoli Varieties (Broccoli X Gailon)

Happy Rich: Produces large florets sweet in flavor. Plants are dark green with lots of side shoots. 55 days.

Atlantis: High yield potential. Florets are even bigger than “Happy Rich.” Harvest mature head to encourage side shoots to grow for an additional 4-6 weeks. Slightly sweet flavor. 60 days.

Broccoli Raab Varieties

Sessantina Grossa: Early variety. Shoots and buds are thick and tender, resembling “mini” versions of full-sized broccoli. Best when used for an early harvest. 35 days.

Spring Raab: Best pick for growing and harvesting all season long. Large plants mature late. Great for pairing with Sessantina Grossa for extended harvest. 42 days.

Spigariello Liscia: Leaf variety grown similar to broccoli raab. Individual leaves or bunches can be harvested. If left to mature, mini broccoli heads will form. Sweeter taste. 45 days, 70 days for mini heads.

Full-Sized Broccoli

Green Goliath: Great garden variety. Produces bluish-green heads with tight buds and lots of side shoots. Large heads can be harvested over a 3 week period. 53 days.

Calabrese: Heirloom variety. Produces dark, bluish-green heads averaging 5” across on large 30-36” plants. 60-90 days.

Green Duke: Great southern variety. Vigorous grower producing high yields of dome shaped heads. Tolerates heat well. 70 days.

Broccoli Hybrids

Blue Wind: Early variety. Produces medium-sized blueish green heads. Uniform in size. Easy to harvest. 49 days.

Flash: Early variety. Produces bluish-green heads sweeter in flavor than most. Tolerates heat and Downy mildew. 50 days.

Amadeus: Early variety. Produces medium-sized heads blueish-green in color. Produces lots of side shoots. Attractive heads look good at markets with fine beads and uniform shape. Plants are medium-sized and vigorous. 56 days.

Green Magic: Early variety. Produces smooth, uniform heads that are attractive to look at in markets. Plants are medium-sized. 57 days.

Packman Broccoli
Packman Broccoli: Early Variety. High-yielding. Produces  8” dark-green domed heads with medium-large beads. Lots of side shoots. Freezes well. Tolerates heat. 57 days.

Premium Crop: Early variety. Produces 9” heads with tight beads. Plants can grow up to 2’ tall. Flavorful. 58 days.

Gypsy: Early variety. Produces uniform, well-domed heads with a medium-large bead size. Stems are medium in size. Produces a good amount of side shoots. Plants grow large and resist downy mildew well and have a good heat tolerance. 58 days.

Coronado Crown Broccoli
Coronado Crown: Great northern/southern variety. Produces solid, dome-shaped heads with tender, stringless stems. Produces lots of side shoots. Tolerates heat well. Freezes well. 58 days.

Green Magic: Produces blueish-green heads uniform in size and full of flavor. Tolerates downy mildew. Freezes well. 60 days.

Bay Meadows: Adaptable variety. Produces blueish-green heads with good domes. 60 days.

Arcadia: Cold variety. Produces firm, dark-green heads with a frosted look. Grows vigorously maturing mid to late season. Resists downy mildew, head rot & brown heads. Tolerates stress and cold well. 63 days.

Batavia: Produces dark-green heads with tight, medium beads. Adapts well. Resists powdery mildew. Heat and cold tolerant. 65 days.

Belstar Broccoli
Belstar: Adaptable variety. Produces medium-green heads with good domes and medium beads. Good shoot production. Tolerates stress well. 66 days.

Diplomat: A great variety for the north. Produces dense, dark-green heads medium-large in size with small beads. Good for bunching or crown cutting. Resists downy mildew well. 68 days.

Marathon: Fall/winter variety. Matures late in the season. Tolerates cold very well. Harvest in late summer and fall. 68 days.

Apollo: A cross between Calabrese and Chinese Kale. 24” tall plants are great for small gardens. Produces long, tender stalks. Harvest main head for lots of side shoots. Heavy producer. 80 days.

Open Pollinated Broccoli

De Cicco: Italian variety. Produces clusters of 3-4" main heads and lots of side shoots for an extended harvest. Good for spring and fall production. 48 days.

Resources: Johnny's Selected Seeds, Gurney's Seed and Nursery Co., Park Seed Co., Generic Seeds 

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