I grow a few kinds of broccoli every year - whatever good organic kind I can find in nursery six pack early on, and then my own from seed transplants. This year, as is typical, the first set of broccoli was prolific, crowding out so much and still providing side shoots as the second batch are all starting to head up. So that's all good - and delicious.
This year my broccoli starts were Calabrese broccoli. Based on the fact that I cannot seem to find any other empty broccoli seed packets, I assume they are what I have grown from seed in past years. Here's my question:
Has anyone grown Calabrese? This year, they grew rapidly like the others, but the heads they are making seem to be substantially smaller. I live in a coastally influenced portion of Northern California's East Bay, so its not typically warmer than high 70's (occasionally low 80's but very infrequent) in the garden. My question: is Calabrese a variety that just produces small heads (if I did plant this variety last year, small heads were not an issue)? Could it be nutrients lacking in the soil? Or, sigh, was it the heat wave we had as the broccoli were setting their heads (we had a week where it was consistently in the high 80's, which means it was probably 90 in my sheltered yard)? Our night time temps are typically high 50's/low 60's, but when we have a heat wave, sometimes it stays a bit warmer than that at night, maybe 60's. Whats the thinking?