RapiniBroccoli raab, an Italian signature high-yielding pungent mustard flavor, is used in salads and cooking. It produces delicate, turnip-like, leafy flower shoots. They are collected in bunches when the first flowers begin to bloom. Rapini is fast-growing annuals, hardy, and poorly heat-tolerant.
Historians claim that this vegetable grew wild and was used as a herb in ancient China. Despite the appearance and common name "broccoli rabe", this vegetable is not related to broccoli; it is from the turnip family. Traditional Italian and Mediterranean cuisine often includes Rapini.
How to grow Rapini from seeds:
- Sowing: Rapini seeds germinate best in cool weather, so sow broccoli seeds indoors 5-6 weeks before the last expected frost. It will provide a faster harvest. Shortly before the last frost and when the seedlings are about 6 "tall, plant them 1-2 'apart in rows 2-3' apart. When sowing directly, plant them 1 "deep and 3" apart in full sun and rich soil, 2-3 weeks before the last expected spring frost. Keep seeds warm to 40 degrees F. For fall harvest, sow Rapini seeds in late July or August.
- Plant Spacing: 3″.
- Growing of Rapini: Young plants should be constantly watered and weeds removed. A lаyer of mulch prevents weeds from growing and keeps the soil warm. Sometimes additional fertilizer or compost is required. If the temperature is freezing at night, cover the plants.
- Rapini Soil Requirements for: Well-drained soils with a texture between sandy and clay loam.
- Rapini Seeds Days to Germination: 7-14 days.
- Light Preference of Rapini: Full Sun.
- Life Cycle of Rapini: Annual.
- How and When to Harvest Rapini: Harvest before the buds bloom, when they are about 10-15″ tall. Trim the plant at ground level or where the stem is most challenging. The taste is preserved in freshly cut vegetables.
- Rapini Days to Maturity: 45-75 days.
- Rapini's Seed Saving: Broccoli produces seeds after the entire growing season. Sоmetimes it is necessary to dig up plants for the winter or mulch them well. It is common for broccoli to cross-pollinate with other members of the cabbage family, such as cauliflower. Isolation of at least 1/4 mile is recommended to prevent cross-breeding. After the flowers have bloomed and the seed pods have formed, let them dry. Then carefully remove them from the plant and separate the seeds. Store in a cool, dry place for up to five years.
- Common Names: Rapini, Broccoli rabe
- Latin Name: Brassica rapa
- Species Origin: Mediterranean
- Type: Open Pollinated, Heirloom, Hot Pepper, Warm Season
- Life Cycle: Annual
- USDA Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
- Seeds per Ounce: 9,000
- Sunlight: Full Sun
- Height:24 Inches
- Color: Green
- Uses: Culinary