Broccoli Raab Super Rapini by Renee's Garden
Heirloom Broccoli Raab: Super Rapini
START SEEDS DIRECTLY IN THE GARDEN
In very early spring as soon as ground can be worked, prepare a well-drained, fertile garden bed in full sun. Sow seeds 2 inches apart in rows 6 to 8 inches apart. Cover 1/4 inch deep and keep soil evenly moist to ensure good germination. When seedlings are 3 to 4 inches tall, thin to stand 4 to 6 inches apart.
Sow Broccoli Raab in cool early spring weather, about the same time as you plant turnips and radishes. Consistent moisture, early thinning and an adequate supply of nitrogen will encourage the quick growth needed to produce tender juicy shoots with plump buds. Use non-toxic B.T. (Bacillus thuringiensis) products to control caterpillar pests as necessary. Make several sowings a week apart for a continuous harvest. Sow again in late summer for a fall crop.
HARVEST AND USE
Harvest both leaves and flowering stalks at 7 to 8 inches tall, when they are still tender and juicy and the flower buds are plump and closed. After cutting, water plants and feed with fish emulsion solution to get a second harvest in a few weeks. Enjoy the hearty flavor of these vitamin-rich greens by briefly steaming or prepare traditionally by first blanching quickly in a boiling water bath, and then sautéing them in olive oil with chopped garlic.