Purple sprouting broccoli and basil soup

Purple sprouting broccoli and basil soup

What you will need.

  • 1x pack of Purple sprouting broccoli seeds.
  • 1x pack of Basil seeds
  • A bag of multipurpose compost.
  • Lots of small plant pots.

Broccoli

In March fill up your plant pots with Multipurpose compost and sow 2 Broccoli seeds per pot. (not too close together) Give them a good drink of water and place on a sunny windowsill or greenhouse keeping them watered and not allowing the soil to totally dry out.

Mid April is the time when your seedlings can be planted outside.( after the risk of frosts) Dig a hole and put either homemade compost, well rotted manure or some extra multipurpose compost in the bottom The seedlings can be gently teased apart from each other giving you 2 plants, plant them with the soil up to the same height as it was in the pot, allowing 30cm between each plant, and feed with liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks.

To keep a succession of plants over the Winter, April is also the time to sow directly into the soil outside were you want the plants to grow. Sow 3 seeds in 2cm deep holes about 30cm apart, when all the seedlings are up thin out the weakest ones from each group leaving the strongest seedling in situ.

It is a good idea to keep some gardeners fleece over the plants, this will stop any Cabbage root fly or caterpillars munching them., and also protect from any surprise night frosts. Then at the end of May swap the fleece for a fine net, this will stop any naughty pigeons from pecking at your harvest, and always keep our eyes open for slugs and snails!

Once your beautiful heads of broccoli are formed harvest the central stem first, this will make the plant send out more side-shoots which can be picked regularly  for up to 6 weeks.

Basil

From May to June you can fill your small pots with multi-purpose compost and sprinkle seeds thinly about five per pot,  cover with a fine layer of compost. Put onto a warm and sunny windowsill, and keep the soil moist. Once the seedlings have popped up and around 3cm tall gently tease them apart and pot them on individually into their own plant pot. Keep them on a sunny windowsill and feed them with a general liquid feed every week. Nip out the growing tips often and remove any flower buds, this will keep the plant bushy and leafy.