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40-50 days to maturity. Brassica oleracea var alboglabra ‘Big Stem’. Big Stem Chinese Broccoli Seeds. Non-GMO; hybrid; cool-season annual. Closely related to European cabbage, Chinese broccoli was introduced to China in ancient times and quickly accepted into the local cuisine. The leaves are big and dark green with thick stems. Suitable for growing during multiple different times of the year. This open-pollinated variety has deep green color, good flavor, and large stalks that are crisp and excellent for slicing. Stems are tolerant to cold and slow to bolt. Approximately 9,000 seeds per oz.
Other Common Names: Chinese kale, white-flowering broccoli, gai lan, jie, kaai laan tsoi, kailan, or kairan.
How to Grow Big Stem Chinese Broccoli
Chinese broccoli can thrive when sown at a variety of times. Shield it against hard frosts. For heaviest yields, seed in the mid-summer for an autumn harvest. In temperate climates, early spring sowings and mid-summer harvests are also possible. Keep soil moist. Chinese broccoli thrives in multiple temperature ranges. It is best to sow the seeds where they will grow for the season (in situ). Chinese broccoli does not do well with transplanting.
Space the seedlings depending upon what stage you plant to harvest them. When growing mature plants, leave ample room for growth. Fertilize after each cut to help the plant recover quicker and produce more. Chinese broccoli has shallow roots; frequent and light watering is best. In high winds, mound the soil around the stalks to increase stability.
Harvesting Big Stem Chinese Broccoli
Harvest the main stalk when 12-18" tall and when 2-3 flowers are about to open. After this cut, the plant branches freely for an extended harvest.
The soft leaves and tender, crispy stems have an excellent flavor when steamed, in stir-fry dishes, or in soup. Blanche then stir-fry stalks, leaves, and buds with garlic, a little sugar, and some rice wine. Or, boil and dress with oyster sauce. Peel off the outer skin if the stalk has become rough.
Tips From Our Gardeners
“Chinese broccoli is the perfect filler vegetable. Toss it into almost any dish to add nutrition and bulk. It plays well with many flavor profiles!”
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