Growing Broccoli Raab (Rapini) in Virginia 7A - advice?

I’ve grown tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, beets, cabbage, peas, beans, etc. for years and last year had my first real success with spring broccoli. This year, I’m growing more of the same, but am also adding in broccoli raab (or rapini as the packet from Baker Creek called it). I may even grow more of it than broccoli since it is a lot more expensive in the stores and we really like it.

So for anyone who has grown it, particularly in a warmish area like I’m in that has a short spring before it heats up, what advice can you give me. Is it the same as growing broccoli or are there other things to consider? I’ve got a bunch of seedlings going and am going to separate them into individual pots, so I’m trying to decide how many to keep of each.


I’ve grown rapini before in my area, it’s one of my favorite vegetables. But I start here in August, then they will mature in the cold. By now I have to pull them out otherwise they will set flowers.


This is one of my favorite veggies. I tried to grow and failed. Our spring season us just too short to grow it. I switched to different but similar veggie

1 Like

If this one doesn’t work with your warm weather then maybe try gailan. The flavor isn’t the same but texture and appearance are similar. I can sow it directly in the ground in April and harvest in about 6 weeks.


Rapini is advertised as a spring vegetable; but, where winters are not too cold, it works quite well planted in late summer and harvested all winter and early spring. Here in the Pacific Northwest we have long springs and no hot summers, but I would expect that you could get a good crop in Virginia before it got too hot. It is grown in Italy where summers are also hot. All of my rapini tolerates temperatures below 16 F, but its cold tolerance depends on the variety. Modern hybrid varieties seem less cold tolerant than older Italian varieties. That’s just a comparison between seed given to me by an Italian neighbor and seed bought from a Canadian seed supplier.

1 Like

Thanks for all the helpful feedback. It sounds like I should get at least a reasonable crop this spring and then maybe even a better one this fall into winter.

I’ll report back in a few months.