Back to Basics

The best of the best from the 2011 OG Test Gardens.

By Doug Hall

Photography by Christa Neu

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piracicaba broccoliBroccoli

‘Piracicaba’

Combining characteristics of heading broccoli and broccoli raab, ‘Piracicaba’ offers a long season of miniature heads on large, bushy plants. The fall harvest is especially sweet and flavorful.

Seed Source: Turtle Tree Biodynamic Seed Initiative

Growing tip: Gardeners everywhere, but especially in Florida, sometimes need to shield seedlings from heat and sunshine, says Andres Mejides, our test gardener in Homestead, Florida. Andres creates a temporary shelter alongside rows of newly transplanted broccoli and other vegetables, using a 3-foot-wide strip of shade cloth secured to rebar stakes with twist ties or twine threaded through the loosely woven fabric. “Rather than putting the shade cloth perfectly vertical, I like to lean it to the east, over the row,” Andres says. “That way plants get protection from slightly before noon through the afternoon.” He removes the shade cloth after the transplants are acclimated in the garden.

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