This article will walk you through how to grow two different varieties of Fioretto, part of the Brassica oleracea var. Botrytis family. Sometimes known as sweet-sprouting broccoli, stick cauliflower, biancoli, or Karifurore in Japan it is a bright and balanced hybrid brassica with coral-like florets. Our two variants of this vegetable allow for it to be grown all year round.
We have two different varieties; Fioretto 70 and the other is Fioretto 85 (named after the loose number of days they take to reach maturity). Fioretto 70 is our summer variety, while 85 is a great choice for fall. Both are green-stemmed with a white head, very sweet yet fresh in flavor with a crisp, nutty bite.
Typically Fioretto is grown similarly to broccoli or cauliflower. While It can be directly seeded, we recommend it be transplanted.
When sowing seeds directly into the soil you want to sow in light, well-drained soil, placing one seed about one quarter (¼) inch deep, every 2" or 4" inches apart making sure that the entire seed is covered. Once the seed has germinated, thin the plants, spacing them 8" inches apart.
If sowing into trays for transplanting apply the same technique (though of course spacing matters less if in individual seed pods). Again, make sure to use fine soil that will drain well in your seed trays.
The watering schedule should be done every other day until the seed comes through the soil. One thing to watch for while germinating any seed is to avoid allowing a crust to form on the surface of your soil, which is caused by overwatering. Make sure to keep the top layer of the soil moist but not saturated, so that the seedling is able to break through the surface and start growing towards the sunlight.
Once the seedling is established—this usually takes between 30 to 35 days—and the plants are ready to be pulled from the plastic tray, plants should be transplanted ar 8” inches apart to allow for substantial growth. Cultivation and water is important when the root system is exposed to air to allow proper nutrients to move through your soil.
Once the plant hits that 70 or 85-day mark since transplanting (depending on the variety; Fioretto 70 or Fioretto 85) plants can start to be harvested once this stem has reached between six and eight inches in length.
Heads can be harvested by simply cutting the base of the plant at the stem and then making a few minor cuts to break away the smaller Fioretto stems from the woodier main stalk.