There is a good reason the Europeans love Rapini; the tender stems, buds, flowers, and leaves have a wonderfully delicate and slightly bitter, peppery broccoli flavor, that can be enjoyed in salads, stir-fries, or steamed. Budding florets should be harvested just before the flowers open for best flavor. Known in Italy as “broccoletti”.
Botanical Name: Brassica rapa subsp. rapa
Days to Maturity: 45 days
Native: Probably Eurasia
Hardiness: Frost-tolerant annual
Plant Dimensions: 12″–14″ tall, 8″–10″ wide
Variety Information: Broccoli raab is a traditional Italian vegetable that is gaining popularity around the world. The tender stalks and flower buds have a bitter, pungent, broccoli flavor. The young leaves are eaten like greens.
When to Sow Outside: 4 to 6 weeks before your average last frost date, when soil temperature is at least 50°, ideally 60°–75°F, and again in late summer, 8 to 10 weeks before your first average frost date. Produces best in cool temperatures. Mild Climates: Sow in fall for cool–season harvest. Successive Sowings: Sow 1 to 2 times more, 1 to 2 weeks apart.
When to Start Inside: 2 to 4 weeks before your average last frost date.
Days to Emerge: 7 – 14 days
Seed Depth: ¼”
Seed Spacing: A group of 3 seeds every 46″–12″
Row Spacing: 18″–24″
Thinning: When 2″ tall, thin to 1 every 6″12″
Harvesting: Harvest in the morning. If grown for the greens, harvest the leaves when they are small, before flower stalks form. If grown for the florets, cut the budding shoots about 5″ down when they are 1″-2″ across, just before the flowers open. Expect a second, and possible third flush of tender florets over 2 to 4 weeks.
This packet sows up to 46 feet. 280 seeds.