The most cold-hardy variety for overwintering.
These sweet and tender, 6–8" bright purple florets are a welcome addition to the market stand in February and March, when fresh greens are scarce. We recommend pinching to encourage heavier side-shoot production. Red Fire is a Broccoli X Gailon type. NOTE: Best adapted to the Pacific Northwest and Mid-Atlantic regions where winter temperatures are low enough to vernalize the plant but do not typically drop below 20°F/-7°C; Red Fire will winterkill in colder climates. Avg. 89,800 seeds/lb. Packet: 100 seeds.
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Brassica oleracea (unless otherwise indicated).
CULTURE: Prefers a well-drained, fertile soil high in organic matter with a pH of 6.0–7.5. Prefers a consistent supply of moisture throughout the growing season. Irrigate regularly for best results.
DISEASES AND INSECT PESTS: Prevent flea beetle damage by applying floating row cover at planting. Flea beetles can also be controlled with insecticides such as azadirachtin or pyrethrin. Cabbage worms can be controlled with Bacillus thuringiensis. Prevent disease with crop rotation and good sanitation.
TRANSPLANTING: Sow 2 seeds per cell in 72-cell plug flats, 3–4 seeds/in. in 20-row flats, or in outdoor beds ¼" deep. Seedlings should be ready to transplant in 3–4 weeks. If possible keep soil temperature 75–80°F (24–27°C) until germination, then reduce air temperature to about 60°F (16°C). Ensure good air circulation and light. Transplant outdoors 6–12" apart for spring raab and 12–24" apart for sprouting broccoli in rows 18–36" apart.
DIRECT SEEDING: Sow 3 seeds per foot, ½" deep, rows 18–36" apart, thinning to one plant in each group.
COLD TREATMENT (VERNALIZATION): Late-sprouting varieties require exposure to temperatures at or below 50°F/10°C to induce budding. See individual varieties for duration of vernalization period.
PINCHING: For some varieties, side-shoot production can be encouraged by pinching the apical bud at first emergence. See individual varieties for pinching recommendations.
HARVEST: Before flower buds open, cut stems of central head and side shoots. Stems 4–8" in length can be bunched for sale or sold loose. Recommend harvesting regularly to encourage continued production.
DAYS TO MATURITY: Sprouting broccoli: From transplant date to central head harvest, side shoots will follow. Spring raab: From direct seeding.
SIZED SEEDS: Standard except where noted.
SEED SPECS: Seeds/lb. 52,900–142,100 (Avg. 104,100)
PACKET: 100 seeds, sows 50′, unless otherwise noted.