Broccoli is definitely one of the best veggies, it can be used in so many different recipes, and are really full of nutrients, making them a very healthy addition to your food habits. They can also be used as a gorgeous bouquet to give to a loved one, just kidding, but actually, I would love to get broccoli bouquets. Now, is broccoli easy to grow? Yes, there is not too much of a secret, you just need to know a few tips for growing broccoli. What is the growing season for broccoli? These beauties, that love the sun, are a crop for the cool season, so the best time to grow them is in the spring or fall. If you want to bring more broccoli into your life, stick around and you will discover the best way to grow broccoli.
Just the nutritional value is a good enough reason to decide to grow broccoli. It is full of vitamins and minerals, you get from it potassium, iron, Vitamin A, fiber, and folic acid. And after the main head is harvested, side shoots will, most of the time, continue to be produced by the plant. This way you can keep enjoying your broccoli for some months.
When to Grow Broccoli
- As I’ve said, broccoli is a crop for the cool season, so you will get the best results if you plant it at the beginning of spring or at the end of summer. If you plant them in the middle of summer the high temperatures will cause the growth to stunt. So the ideal is that your broccoli will have time to mature before the temperature starts to get high.
- Germination of broccoli seed is possible in a bit lower temperatures, around 4 celsius, although it is preferable that the soil is warmer, this will also make the development of the plant faster.
- If you plan to plant them in the spring, you can start indoors or outdoors, a few weeks before the spring frost’s last date. If doing it indoors you can plant it 6 to 8 weeks prior to the last frost, if going outdoors, do it 2 to 3 weeks before.
- If you are planting it in the fall (a better option for warmer climates), the seeds should be sowed 2 to 3 months before the first fall frost, when the ambient and soil still have a high temperature. You can also just start with the seed at the end of May.
Right Site Setting for Growing Broccoli
- First thing is that broccoli loves and needs sun, so you will want to find a place with good sun exposure, 6 to 8 hours a day. If the plant doesn’t get enough sun it can develop into a weaker plant.
- You want to plant in a moist bed of soil that is fertile and has good drainage.
- The ideal pH is between 6.0 to 7.0, slightly acidic.
- If you wish to increase the fertility level before planting, you can have the addition of compost that is rich in the soil and a thin manure layer.
Broccoli Planting Time
When growing broccoli from seed there are a few points that are important:
- If you decide to start planting outdoors, you’ll want to sow the seeds about 1/2 centimeters deep and 7 centimeters apart. When the height of the seedlings reaches 5 to 7 centimeters height, you can thin them so that there is a space of 30 to 50 cm between each plant.
- If you choose to have the seeds start indoors, you can transplant the plants outdoors when they have about 4 to 6 weeks of age. Planting them on the soil following the 30 to 50 centimeters space between them. You should plant them in slightly deeper holes than the depth of the container in which they were previously.
- Rows should be spaced 90 cm apart. If you have them closer the main heads will be smaller although you’ll have a larger number of heads that are secondary.
- Give them a good amount of water.
Caring for Your Broccoli
- Broccoli is a plant that will do really well in temperatures between 18 and 21 celsius, outdoors.
- After you transplant a seedling to the garden, you can, after three weeks, use a low-nitrogen type of fertilizer to give your broccoli a boost.
- As the plants reach a height of 5 to 7 centimeters, you will want to thin.
- Keep your plant consistently hydrated, the soil should be kept moist, more so if the conditions are drought-like. Give it at least 2,5 to 4 centimeters of water every week.
- Avoid getting the broccoli heads that are developing wet because this can cause them to start rotting.
- Broccoli has a very shallow root system, so try to let the plants be without much disturbance. You can use a mulch to prevent the development of weeds and it will also be useful for maintaining the temperature of the soil down.
- In order to reduce the risk of pests, you can use a cover on the plant rows.
- Maintaining a regular schedule of feeding and watering your plant will stimulate the plant to produce a second head after you have done the harvest of the first one.
- If you start seeing the plant is turning yellow, adding a blood meal will help it.
- So what you want to do is harvest the heads when they have had time to develop fully but before the yellow flowers start opening from the individual buds.
- you will know when it’s harvest time when you see the heads are 10 to 18 cm tall. The top should be dense with closed buds. If the plant starts flowering you lose your window of time and it is already too late for taking them.
- To cut the heads use a knife that is sharp, and you can leave the rest of the broccoli on the ground so more side shoots have a chance to be developed.
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