Broccoli Rabe (Rapini)

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"Broccoli Rabe" or "Brocoli Raab" has many spiked leaves surrounding a button-sized green bud that looks similar to a small broccoli head, sometimes crowned by small edible yellow flowers. This European native is common in Mediterranean, Italian, and Asian cuisine and is growing widely popular in the US. The flavor is described as nutty, slightly bitter, pungent, and almost almond-flavored!

Also Known As: Broccoletti, broccoli raab, broccoli rabe, spring raab, ruvo kale, raab, rapa, rapine, rappi, rappone, fall and spring raab, turnip broccoli, taitcat, Italian or Chinese broccoli, broccolini, broccoli de rabe, Italian turnip, and turnip broccoli.


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Plant Name:
Broccoli Rabe, Spring Rapini
Latin Name:
Brassica rapa var. Ruvo
Days to Germinate: 7-14
Days to Harvest: 40
Germination Rate: 94%
Test Date: 3/22
Growth Habit: Upright
USDA Zones: 2-11
Lifespan: Annual
Country of Origin: United States
Sunlight: Full Sun, Partial Shade
GMO: No
Pollination:
Heirloom, Open-Pollinated
Fungicide-Treated Seeds:*: No
Seeds Packed For**: 2022

*Fungicide-treated seeds protect the seedlings from diseases until they are up and growing. Do not eat treated seeds.
**Seeds are freshly packed for the growing season of the year listed. Seeds are still viable beyond pack date. Store in a cool and dry location such as the refrigerator or basement to best preserve germination rates.


Planting Instructions:

 

Soil Preparation:

To prepare soil, remove weeds, large rocks, and litter from the planting area. Leave small weeds and dead grass, they will enrich the soil when turned under. Spade the soil 8-12 inches deep and turn each shovel of soil over completely to cover the plant materials with soil. You may add fertilizer or 2-3 inches of organic material such as compost, leaves, or rotted hay over the planting area at this point. Till to mix this organic material into the top 8-10 inches of soil. Make rows of soil beds 4-6 inches high and at least 3 feet apart. This formation of ridges will help with drainage. Romansco grows best in well-drained, sandy loam soil that is neutral or slightly acid soil (pH 6.0 to 6.5).
 

Planting:

Plant in the spring after all danger of frost has passed and the soil is warm. To make transplants, seeding indoors in the middle of March is recommended. Seedlings are ready to be planted outside when they are about 6-8 inches high with 6-8 true leaves. For direct sowing, plant seeds in a single seed line in 3-foot apart raised beds. 2-3 inches apart at 1/4 inch depth. Cover thinly with soil and water after planting. After the seeds come up and plants are 3-4 inches tall, thin to 14-20 inches apart.


Planting Depth: 1/4 inch
Within-Row Spacing:
14-20 inches
Between-Row Spacing:
2-3 feet

 

Care During the Season:

Watering: Water the plants enough to keep from wilting, about every 5-7 days.
 
Weeding: Keep plants as weed-free as possible. When plowing or hoeing try to prevent cutting the feeder rooters which may slow the plant's growth.

Fertilizing: You may optionally add scatter 1/2 a pound of a complete fertilizer for each 100 square feet of garden area. Work into the soil and leave the surface smooth. For small gardens, use 1 tablespoon of fertilizer for each hill. Scatter the fertilizer evenly over a 2 foot by 2 foot area. work it into the top 2-3 inches of soil.

Insecticides: Insecticides may be used to protect plants. Bt-based insecticides and sulfur are organic options that can be used for prevention. Sulfur also has fungicidal properties and helps in controlling many diseases. Before using a pesticide, read the label and always follow cautions, warnings and directions.

Diseases: Check the plants daily and if spots or mold appear, treat the plant with an approved fungicide. Neem oil, sulfur, and other fungicides may be used. Please always follow label directions.
 

Harvesting:

The first broccoli raab heads are usually ready to pick about 6-8 weeks after sowing, when plants are 1-2 feet tall. Cut stems well below heads, taking a cluster of leaves as needed. Broccoli raab will cut and come again but keep an eye out for bolting.  Broccoli raab can be stored in a loosely closed plastic bag in the crisper of the fridge  for up to a week.


Nutrition Facts:

Calories 50
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.5 g 0%
Saturated fat 0.1 g 0%
Polyunsaturated fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 49 mg 2%
Potassium 468 mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 10 g 3%
Dietary fiber 3.8 g 15%
Sugar 2.5 g
Protein 4.2 g 8%
Vitamin A 18% Vitamin C 220%
Calcium 7% Iron 6%
Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 15%
Cobalamin 0% Magnesium 7%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.