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Old September 13, 2016   #46
Zone9b
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I never provided complete results from my last Broccoli crop last season which was last May. The first to come in was Castle Dome and that was pretty fair. When Lieutenant started producing heads a couple of weeks later it was hotter and it did fair between poor and fair. When Premium Crop came in a couple of weeks even later it was much hotter and it was my first poor crop of Premium Crop.

Now I am back at it for the season from Sep 2016 thru May 2017. My first crop of Castle Dome went in 8/27/16 and that may have been too early. Time will tell. My second crop went into seed cups today 9/13/16. Spacing for the 1st crop is about the same that I have been using. That being 11" between rows and 8" between plants in the row.
I'm hoping to grow a whole lot of Broccoli in a single raised bed this season. I also hope to know more about growing Broccoli at the end of the season.
Larry
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Old November 12, 2016   #47
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I never provided complete results from my last Broccoli crop last season which was last May. The first to come in was Castle Dome and that was pretty fair. When Lieutenant started producing heads a couple of weeks later it was hotter and it did fair between poor and fair. When Premium Crop came in a couple of weeks even later it was much hotter and it was my first poor crop of Premium Crop.

Now I am back at it for the season from Sep 2016 thru May 2017. My first crop of Castle Dome went in 8/27/16 and that may have been too early. Time will tell. My second crop went into seed cups today 9/13/16. Spacing for the 1st crop is about the same that I have been using. That being 11" between rows and 8" between plants in the row.
I'm hoping to grow a whole lot of Broccoli in a single raised bed this season. I also hope to know more about growing Broccoli at the end of the season.
Larry
Keep us posted.

Thanks for stating the spacing; I was just going to ask you on the FL thread and did a search for broccoli. I am finally transplanting my starts and want to space much closer than last year and was looking at what our FL expert did.

I am way over a month behind even though this fall - since the hurricane has been so much cooler and better.

I am growing Castle Dome and Premium Crop. For me, Castle Dome seeds generate so much quicker but then as seedlings Premium Crop does catch up.
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Old November 12, 2016   #48
Zone9b
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Keep us posted.

Thanks for stating the spacing; I was just going to ask you on the FL thread and did a search for broccoli. I am finally transplanting my starts and want to space much closer than last year and was looking at what our FL expert did.

I am way over a month behind even though this fall - since the hurricane has been so much cooler and better.

I am growing Castle Dome and Premium Crop. For me, Castle Dome seeds generate so much quicker but then as seedlings Premium Crop does catch up.
Barb,
I need to order a whole lot of more seeds. When my bush beans are finished in maybe 3 weeks I may consider starting a second raised bed of broccoli, but I will need transplants. You should be in good shape with your Broccoli. We are just now getting into the good part of the season for Broccoli. You may be surprised in how fast the Castle Domes start to head. You may want to start some more seedlings, so you could stick another crop in as soon as the first comes out. Also, in the Clemson trial they rated the taste of Castle Dome raw as the best. A few pieces are nice in a salad. We are still harvesting Arugula and I have some 2 Star lettuce left. 2 Star is the best I have grown to date in this area. Keep picking of the bottom and it just keeps growing.
May your Broccoli be marvelous.
Larry

Last edited by Zone9b; November 12, 2016 at 09:07 PM.
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Old November 13, 2016   #49
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I have never grown Castle Dome broccoli but have grown many others. Does it have a small bead and tight head that holds up during hotter weather? I am always on the lookout for a variety that will do well here in the south and since you are further south anything you grow should do well here.

My favorite is Coronado Crown which makes very large tight heads that hold well along with huge side shoots as large as most main heads on other varieties. This year they seem to have stopped producing this great hybrid so I am growing more of my second choice which is Gypsy. Now if the squirrels will just let a few of them alone I might get some broccoli this fall and winter. I will also be starting new seedlings for my spring broccoli soon.

Bill
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Old November 13, 2016   #50
Zone9b
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I have never grown Castle Dome broccoli but have grown many others. Does it have a small bead and tight head that holds up during hotter weather? I am always on the lookout for a variety that will do well here in the south and since you are further south anything you grow should do well here.

My favorite is Coronado Crown which makes very large tight heads that hold well along with huge side shoots as large as most main heads on other varieties. This year they seem to have stopped producing this great hybrid so I am growing more of my second choice which is Gypsy. Now if the squirrels will just let a few of them alone I might get some broccoli this fall and winter. I will also be starting new seedlings for my spring broccoli soon.

Bill
I am only now growing Castle Dome under good weather conditions. I grew CD the first time at the end of the season this spring. It was in the Raised Bed for the month of April and it was quite hot but it did fairly well and outperformed both Lieutenant and Premium Crop. This season I started with CD only and it was in the RB for Sep and Oct. September was very hot and October was just hot but CD did relatively well, given the circumstances. Now I have the second crop of Broccoli in and hope to get a better idea of its capabilities.
Seminis (the seed company) writes: “Castle Dome . . . is an early maturing hybrid broccoli with excellent holding ability. This versatile variety offers good heat tolerance, as well as cold vigor. The compact, open plant produces uniform heads that are deep and domed with tight, small beads. . . .”
I largely agree with this but I’m not sure I would call it deep domed, if I really know exactly what that means. It appears domed enough to me to shed water well, which is what I want.
In the Clemson, Organic Broccoli Cultivar Trial and Organic/Conventional Broccoli Plant Density Trial they write several things which are favorable for Castle Dome. Large Diameter and Small Stem, Nice Color, Texture excellent, Most Preferred Processing Qualities.
My experience is similar in most cases but not all. The heads were adequate size, the stem is not particularly large but the plant in general is smaller than any other variety I have tried (I’m guessing that is one of the reasons it is so early; i.e. it doesn’t have to waste a lot of time growing a large plant before it starts producing a head). Nice Color quite possibly because all the pictures show that, but for me most were a kind of light lime green. Not an unpleasant color to me but somewhat unusual for broccoli. My guess is that the color for me will be more normal when I grown under more normal conditions rather than the extreme heat I grew it under. We’ll see. Texture Excellent and Most Preferred Processing Qualities. I find the CD heads to be nice to prepare and cook. The florets maintain their shape and don’t fall apart nearly as bad as others I have worked with. Even when cooking everything seems to stay in place and I didn’t have a bunch of beads crumple away from the florets.
Also, I found that CD not only held up well in the heat but also seemed to hold up in the garden better than others I’ve grown. For me Packman was the worst. Before I knew it those little beads would pop open and I quickly would have a yellow looking head of Broccoli.
For now, Castle Dome Broccoli gives me a variety that performs very well in extreme conditions, I like very much to eat it and also it is quite early. Castle Dome is a variety that I will continue to grow, at least until I find something which I think is better.
Larry

Last edited by Zone9b; November 13, 2016 at 07:57 PM.
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