Rapini is alo known as Broccoli Rabe is a green cruciferous vegetable belonging to tribe Brassiceae of the family Brassicaceae .
Overview of Broccoli Rabe or Rapini
• The edible parts are:
– the leaves
• The buds are almost identical to broccoli.
• The only difference is that they do not form a large head.
• It has a slightly bitter taste.
• It is used extensively in Italian and Portuguese cuisines.
• The immature leaves of these plants are employed in cooking.
• Rapini bears many spiked leaves.
• Encircling are clusters of green buds which are similar to small heads of broccoli.
• There are little yellow flowers which are edible.
• The taste is bitter, pungent and nutty.
This is a source of:
– vitamins A, C, and K
The plant is scientifically classified as below:
• Kingdom : Plantae
• Class : Eudicots
• (unranked) : Rosids
• Order : Brassicales
• Family : Brassicaceae
• Genus : Brassica
• Species : B. rapa
• Growing these plants in a home garden enables you to provide fresh veggies throughout the growing season.
• These plants thrive best in full sunlight.
• They have long growing seasons that start in early spring.
• Start planting as soon as the final frost of the year has passed.
• Till the soil in an area of your garden that receives at least six hours of full sunlight daily.
• Till to a depth of 10 inches.
• The temperatures favorable for the plant is 18 and 23 °C.
• Brassicas can withstand one or two unexpected freezes.
• Mix in a 2- to 3-inch layer of compost or peat moss as you till to increase fertility and drainage in the soil.
• This helps the heavily feeding Brassicas and prevents rot and fungal growth from standing water.
• Sow your Brassica seeds 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep in the soil.
• Space 18 inches apart in rows at least 32 inches apart.
• Brassica seeds germinate within 10 days.
• Keep the soil around your Brassica plants thoroughly moist.
• Whenever the top 2 inches of soil feels dry, water the soil.
• Feed the plants a balanced vegetable fertilizer that contains boron, calcium and magnesium about two weeks after germination.
• This extra boost of nutrition helps the plants fruit.
• Inspect your plants every day.
• If you find worms or other insects on your vegetables, simply pick them off with tweezers.
• These pests only harm vegetables if allowed to stay on there for too long.
• Harvest the Brassicas when the vegetables are firm to the touch.
• Brassicas tend to attract worms and moths.
• Consider using row covers during the first few weeks after planting to prevent these insects from invading.