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Green Sprouting Calabrese Broccoli Guide

These bright bushels of blueish green can burst twice a year. Whether you start them in the spring or fall, Calabrese is anything but small. An old-fashioned heirloom with Italian roots, this variety boasts rewardingly large heads at up to 5”. It’s also rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as potassium, phosphorus, and iron.


Calabrese broccoli grows best in cooler weather between 50°F-75°F. They do great in containers and small gardens. Bank on Seeds recommends transplanting.

If Direct Seeding

  • Direct seed outside 1-2 weeks before last frost date; or
  • Direct seed into a container 8-11 inches deep and wide anytime of the year. It can be placed outside when the temperature is between 50°F-75°F; or

If Transplanting

Begin the growing season early and start the broccoli seeds indoors in trays or pods 4-6 weeks before the last frost date. Germination is best and fastest between 50°F-80°F. It can be transplanted outside 6 weeks later.

Sow seeds ¼ inch deep and 18 inches apart with rows spaced 24-36 inches apart. Germination will take 5-10 days.


Sprouting Green Calabrese broccoli likes well-draining, fertile soil high in organic matter or aged compost. Broccoli likes full sun but cannot tolerate heat. Water thoroughly and often to keep the soil cool and evenly moist to slow bolting. When watering, do not water the foliage as to deter rot or disease. Adding mulch to the top layer of soil will help regulate temperature, retain moisture, and deter weeds.

Use organic fertilizer, aged compost, or 5-10-10 fertilizer every 6-8 weeks.


Calabrese broccoli develops in 65-75 days. Cut 6 inches off the main head when the broccoli matures. Additional side heads will continue developing until the weather gets too hot. These can also be cut continuously until the broccoli flowers and goes to seed.


Flea beetles – cover with floating row covers as soon as they are sown; yellow sticky traps in soil; neem oil

*Plant broccoli with potatoes, basil, celery, mint, dill, and onions. Avoid planting with tomatoes, pole beans. *

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