Raab/Rapini has thin leafy shoots topped by small, loose clusters of buds. Rapini is similar to broccoli but it will mature sooner and you eat the leaves, stems, buds and it offers more of a zip in flavour.
Plant in a full sun location with a pH of 6.5 to 7. You can start rapini indoors 3-4 weeks before last expected frost date, however it grows fast and can tolerate a bit of frost, so direct seeding is recommended. Succession plantings 7-10 days apart will yield a continuous harvest. Sow the tiny seeds ½” deep and 1-2” apart. Water well with a fine spray and keep moist until the seedlings emerge.
Thin the plants to about 6” between each plant when they are about 3” tall. Be sure that the soil does not get too dry as it will cause the rapini to have a bitter flavour.
Harvest the top half of the plant after it bolts (flower stocks and bud clusters) but before the flower buds open which will happen very quickly. Cut at the point where the tender part of the stem meets the tough part.
Flavour is best if you use rapini right away, but it will store in the refrigerator in a plastic bag for a week or so.
Pests and diseases:
Flea beetle or cabbage moth will affect these types of crops, use of row covers or BT is encouraged after transplanting.