Anyone grows Rappini?

scarletaMay 20, 2009

I have never tried and I wonder what is your experience with it? Also spacing , best variety, best time to plant and any other info you have.Thanks

I kind of imagine it grows like spinach, but i have no idea?

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Hi Scarleta,

I imagine you are referring to Broccoli Raab, aka Rapini? It is actually a plant of the same species as turnip, rather than broccoli, but may have acquired its name of Broccoli Raab because you harvest the small flowering shoots, as you do with broccoli's larger shoots.

It's easy to grow, very fast to mature and almost the whole plant is edible, only the older stems getting too fibrous.

Plant any time between March and early September. Give it good soil moisture and at least moderately fertile soil. Pick the young flowering shoots as they form. They can even be picked if the flowers have opened, it doesn't matter, although its usually picked younger. Leaves are certainly edible also.

As far as spacing I'd say about 12" for single seedlings, or grow in rows, 8" between plants & 18" between rows. Plants can get big quickly if you let them. Your soil fertility will determine future spacing needs. It is very easy to grow from seed. Because it grows so fast its a bad idea to buy starts unless they are very young, with no more than 4 leaves. Also, you will want to re-sow often because they need replanting every 6 weeks or so depending on weather & how heavy you pick.

The only pests I have noticed are slugs and occasionally cabbage root maggots. They usually grow fast enough to outpace the maggot's life cycle though. Cabbage White butterfly larvae don't seem as fond of it as they are of broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. I rarely have pest problems.

If it goes to seed & you don't need the spot leave the pretty flowers for beneficial insects which love it.

It's good raw in salads but is very traditional sauteed w/ olive oil and stuff like garlic (my wife is the cook). It is often served over pasta. It has the somewhat bitter taste of many mustards and can take a little getting used to. Try looking for other recipies which feature it with other strong flavors if you are a bit wary.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 2:30PM
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Thanks pepperdude for all the information.After I posted this message and had no reply for few days I kind of gave up.I decided to check again and now I have all the information I wanted so I shall go and get some seeds tomorrow.Many thanks and yes I have a wonderful recipe that requires lots of it so I have no problem in that area.Many thanks for all your help.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 11:40PM
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