This year I grew two varieties of broccoli: Green Goliath and Green Sprouting Calabrese. Unfortunately, I don’t know which plants are which. But I do notice that some of my plants make compact heads and some make taller sprouts with very small heads. I suppose the compact heads are Green Goliath and the taller sprouts are Green Sprouting Calabrese. I planted seeds on March 22 and am harvesting now.
Green Sprouting Calabrese is an Italian heirloom that was brought to America in the 1880s. It is supposed to have 5″-8″ heads and many side shoots.
Green Goliath is a large headed, tight budded, blue-green variety bred especially for the home gardener, to give an early and extended harvest. Center heads mature over a three-week period, not all at once. Good side shoots follow after center head is harvested.
Gardeners around here have mentioned small broccoli heads. My heads are about 2-3 inches (above). I think the weather warmed up too fast for the plants to form large heads. Maybe my fall harvest will be better though the small heads taste great too.
My dad got much bigger heads from seedlings I gave him (below). A good 4 inches! He’s located a bit north of me and his garden is almost a full zone cooler.