Romanesco bears little resemblance to other types of broccoli. The florets form a spiralling fractal pattern that makes this vegetable as attractive as it is tasty. Its flavour also differs from broccoli. Romanesco varieties have a mildly nutty taste that complements cooked and fresh dishes. It's used raw in salads or on its own, or it's served cooked as a side dish or a component in main dishes. Romanesco requires growing conditions and care similar to other broccoli varieties.
Plant Romanesco seeds in individual seed pots eight weeks before the last expected frost in your area. Sow the seeds 1/4 inch deep in moist potting soil.
Place the pots in a 75 degree Fahrenheit location. Water the soil if it begins to dry. Romanesco germinates in approximately one week.
Move the seedlings to a 60F location where they receive bright sunlight. Water the seedlings when the soil surface feels dry.
Locate the pots outdoors in a protected area approximately four weeks after germination and when outdoor temperatures are steadily above 45F during the day. Leave the pots outdoors for one week so they adjust to outdoor temperatures, bringing them in only when temperatures drop below freezing.
Plant the seedlings in a well-drained, full-sun garden bed. Space the Romanesco 16 to 24 inches apart in the row and space the rows at least 24 inches apart.
Water the Romanesco approximately once a week so the top 6 inches of soil remains moist. Apply approximately 1 inch of water. Soils retain moisture well in spring so the Romanesco may not require frequent irrigation.
Fertilise the Romanesco three weeks after transplanting with 0.113kg. of 10-10-10 blend fertiliser per 10-foot row. Sprinkle the fertiliser down the row about six inches from the base of the plants. Water thoroughly after fertilising.
Cut off the head of Romanesco at its base when it is fully formed but before the florets begin to open. Romanesco takes approximately 75 days from planting to harvest.
Romanesco plants reach up to 4 feet tall. They produce most of their foliage before they grow in their edible heads. The heads are buried within the lush foliage.
Tips and warnings
- Romanesco plants reach up to 4 feet tall. They produce most of their foliage before they grow in their edible heads. The heads are buried within the lush foliage.