Purple Sprouting is a very cold hardy variety and only does well planted in late summer for autumn and winter eating, or in autumn for early spring eating.
OH Broccoli is native to the Northern Mediterranean. The varieties we know today evolved from their wild cousins being brought to Italy and bred into Calabrese and Sprouting types. Calabrese is what we typically refer to as Broccoli. The sprouting types are sometimes argued as the original broccoli. The purple sprouting variety was first grown in Tuscany, brought to France by Catherine de Medici in 1533 when she married Henry II. From France broccoli made its way to England and out into the rest of the world. Purple Sprouting is a very cold hardy variety and only does well planted in late summer for autumn and winter eating, or in autumn for early spring eating. If sown in spring, the plants will most likely get very large and take up to a year to produce a crop as the variety requires cold frosts to signal to the plant to produce flowers. A very healthful food high in folates, antioxidants and cancer fighting nutrients. This is a very cold hardy brassica and it will actually not flower until it has had some cold weather. We learned this the hard way starting the plants in spring, waiting all summer, and then getting the largest heads come mid-winter! So, sow into trays in early late Jan/Feb for winter production, or for a spring crop sow, March/April/May. Prick out to 4cm diagonal spacing when true leaves appear. Transplant into fertile soil at 40cm diagonal spacing.