09. February 2021

Sara's Favorites – Baby Matsuri Broccoli

This is one of my favorite broccoli varieties, Baby Matsuri. The plant is low-growing and surprisingly compact. And of course, the broccoli heads are absolutely delicious!

En hand vid ett stort grönt broccoli-toppskott.

My Baby Matsuri broccoli, summer 2019. Learn more about growing broccoli below!

 

I wanted to show you one of my little favorites from the garden. The first time I grew it, I was actually a little surprised by the results. The broccoli I got didn't really look like the description on the seed packet. But as I learned more about my new variety, I soon came to love it. Do you want to know how to grow Baby Matsuri broccoli in your own garden? Keep reading!

 

Read more: How to grow Chinese Broccoli

 

I got the Baby Matsuri mainly because I liked the way it was described: A fast-growing small broccoli variety with dense little shoots. Of course I had to try it! So, I sowed it in my polytunnel during winter, but it took a while before I could start harvesting. The top shoot just didn't stop growing and I eventually had to cut the whole thing early because I needed the spot for another project.

 

This is my first harvest of Baby Matsuri, in early summer 2017. Look at the size of this broccoli! And it wasn't even fully grown at the time, I decided to harvest a little early.

 

I've been growing the Baby Matsuri variety since 2017 and never quite understood why people said that it produced smaller heads. Of course, we can harvest them while they're small and growing too. But that's not necessarily ideal when we know that they can grow twice as large. The word baby simply doesn't seem to apply here.

 

More about broccoli: Grow your own broccoli sprouts

 

The leaves are actually really good, if the pests don't get to them first. Another great thing about this variety is that the stem is tasty too! I try to remove the toughest parts of the stem and then I eat it raw, boiled or in a stir-fry. Delicious!

 

Ett toppskott av broccoli ligger på torkat gräs.

Newly harvested broccoli head, with a few leaves.

 

Sidoskott av broccoli, i bakgrunden rött hus.

A side shoot finally grew!

 

Many other broccoli varieties grow side shoots, but this doesn't seem to be happening with the Baby Matsuri after we harvest the head.

 

Baby Matsuri has fewer side shoots than many other broccoli varieties, and it takes a long while before new shoots appear after we harvest the head, if they even do it at all. That's why I don't really wait for new side shoots to grow, and instead just start over with new plants that I can harvest in fall.

Take a look at the videos below to learn more about growing broccoli in both summer and fall:

 

 


 

 

I prefer growing Baby Matsuri early in the year and then harvesting it in summer. A June sowing can usually be harvested in fall, but there are other hardier broccoli varieties that I'd rather use for the colder season.

More: 10 Cabbage varieties and how to use them

 

Unfortunately, it's not entirely easy to get Baby Matsuri seeds. At least not here in Sweden. I previously got my seeds from the British company Plants of Distinction, but that might be more difficult now that the UK isn't a part of the EU anymore. It might be easier to get these seeds in other parts of the world of course, perhaps if you live in the US or Canada for example.

 

Ett stort grönt toppskott av broccoli.

Look how pretty! I sometimes still can't believe that I can grow these beautiful vegetables at home. I covered the plants with wool as mulch and then added a row cover to protect them from moths.

 

It's actually really easy to grow broccoli at home, which is great. Broccoli is by far one of the most appreciated types of cabbage in my garden. My entire family loves it, it's easy to use fresh as well as frozen. And the leaves taste great too! I often use broccoli leaves instead of kale in my savory pies, soups and casseroles. Delicious!

I hope this post inspired you to sow a few broccoli seeds in the future! This variety is actually a great choice if you want to do a winter sowing too. Good luck!
/Sara Bäckmo

 

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