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Broccoli Raab

Also known as Rapini, Broccoli Raab is a classic favorite of Italian cooks. Actually the flower shoot of a Turnip-like vegetable, it prefers cool weather and can tolerate shade - just a few hours of sunlight seems enough for this resilient variety. Rather than forming heads, Raab forms loose sprouting shoots which should be harvested as needed. The plant will usually re-sprout until hot weather settles in. Raab is great for beginner gardeners - throw the seeds in, cover with a sprinkling of soil, then water; keep the area lightly moist.

Average seed life: 3 years.

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Gardening Tips

Broccoli Raab Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
:1/4” -1/2”
Row Spacing:18”-24”
Seed Spacing:1”
Days to Germination:7-15 days
Germination Temperature:45°-75°F

This tangy, easy-to-grow green tastes like a cross between Broccoli and Radishes. Also known as Rapini, Broccoli Raab is a classic favorite of Italian cooks. Like other Brassicas, Raab prefers sunny, cool weather; plant in the spring as soon as the ground can be worked or in the early fall. Raab is not fussy and thrives in moderately fertile soil, even in a bit of shade. Amend area with compost and/or well-rotted manure and seed it in rows or broadcast lightly. Cover with a sprinkling of soil and water lightly. Raab springs up quickly; monitor it regularly, keeping soil evenly moist. Thin as desired to 4"to 6" apart, using the braised thinnings in pasta. Harvest Raab before the buds open for the sweetest flavor and most crunchy texture. Harvest entire plant or trim shoots with kitchen snips; the Raab will regrow if you leave the central stem in the soil.

Gardening Tips: A Second Heaping
Since Broccoli Raab thrives best in cool weather, it is a good idea to grow two crops, ones for spring and one for fall. Your second crop will be especially productive and sweet tasting, since it can actually benefit from a touch of frost. Sow it 3 weeks before the first frost is expected. A nitrogen rich fertilizer such as cottonseed meal or blood meal will also improve your results.