Broccoli –belongs to cruciferous vegetable which includes cabbage, cauliflower and collard greens- has a lot of benefits. You will find in details what are the best conditions to grow the broccoli? When and how to grow broccoli? What is the best time to harvest the broccoli? How to harvest the broccoli?
Let’s learn why it’s important to grow broccoli?
If you want to eat healthier vegetables, your grocery list must contain broccoli. Broccoli is best source of vitamins. Broccoli plant lessens the risk of many lifestyle-related health conditions. Numerous studies suggest to increase the consumption of plant like broccoli. Broccoli plant reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity and diabetes. It also prevent from the cancer.
Now definitely, you are thinking to utilize this advantageous plant. You can buy it. However, you have other option too. Do you have any interest in gardening? What if you grow your own delish broccoli? It’s not a big deal to grow your own broccoli. Now the main question is: how to grow the broccoli? We will explain in detail every step to plant your own broccoli.
Types of Broccoli plant
Whenever you consider how to grow broccoli, do think about different types of broccoli and choose to plant which is best for you to grow. Broccoli has several types. However, there are numerous broccoli cultivars which are best for home growers, for example, calabrese, belster and green goliath. Sun king, purple sprouting and green magic are also best option for home growers. All are wonderful and tasty. Pick any of your favorite broccoli to plant.
Conditions for growing broccoli
Let’s take a look on the ideal conditions to grow best broccoli. Broccoli grows best in well drained, compost rich soil with 6.0 to 6.8 pH. Add aged-compost supplement nitrogen in soil to increase the production of broccoli. 45F to 75F is an ideal temperature for growing broccoli. Broccoli can survive in frost even when temperature falls at 20F so it is frost hardy.
Broccoli is sun lover. It needs at-least 4 to 5 hours per day complete sun light. Broccoli doesn’t tolerate much heat otherwise it will turn into bolt (turn into seed instead of florets) and loose the flavor and beautiful texture. Some verities can tolerate much heat than others. So the major factor in growing broccoli is a time when you are growing broccoli.
Let’s discuss the best time to plant broccoli and if we fail then which circumstances we will face.
When to plant broccoli
The top secret to grow tasty and delectable broccoli is linked with seasons. If you successfully pick right time to grow broccoli, any type of broccoli, your broccoli will be sweeter than any other broccoli grows at any other time.
You should choose fall instead of spring to grow the broccoli. Sometime spring become unpredictable for broccoli. If climate changes, taste and size of broccoli will be changed. For instance, cool and long spring grows small and early heads broccoli. If temperature rises rapidly in spring, it compel broccoli to open its flower buds prematurely. When weather become hot, broccoli florets grows bitter, smaller, loose heads and less tasty. Too hot or cold weather grow seed instead forming head of broccoli.
Broccoli is a cool-seasoned crop so that you can harvest broccoli before temperature rise above 75F. Sow broccoli seed 5 to 6 weeks before the last frost start in spring.
How to grow broccoli
After discussing a lot about conditions and best time to plant broccoli, let’s know how to grow broccoli.
- Choose an appropriate place to plant broccoli and drained the soil very well.
- Make sure when choosing place where broccoli can have 4 to 5 hours complete sun light per day.
- Prepare your soil one week before planting the broccoli.
- 3 weeks after the transplanting the broccoli, fertilize the soil.
- 40F temperature and 6 pH is ideal for best broccoli so try to maintain this.
- During broccoli planting, make sure to keep the soil moisty.
- Sow the seed ½ to 1 inch deep and almost 3 inches apart.
- Seedling distance should be 18 to 24 inches at-least (otherwise plant will not grow up to its extent).
- The distance between two rows should be 24 to 36 inches.
- Broccoli don’t tolerate much heat. Make sure the availability of shades to prevent heat.
- Try to prevent the broccoli head at initial stages from water.
- Roots of broccoli are very shallow. So don’t disturb the plant too much.
- When plant become mature, decrease watering the plant.
How to protect broccoli from pets?
When you know how to grow broccoli then you must have idea about the protection of broccoli. You should care broccoli as follow:
- Utilize row cover, it will give protection from pets.
- Never grow infected plant.
- Use Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki if broccoli suffer from dangerous caterpillar pests.
When to harvest broccoli
When to harvest broccoli? It depends on either you grows broccoli by seeds or transplant it. It take 100 to 150 days for complete growth when seed is sown. You can harvest broccoli after 55 to 80 days when broccoli is transplanted. Try to cut broccoli when it is still green and tight. When buds start to swell, it’s better time to harvest the broccoli. You must harvest it before the petals turn into yellow.
Morning time is considered the best time to harvest the broccoli. When time passes, broccoli heats up and it will drop the original taste because its respiration rate is very high.
How to harvest broccoli
Now it’s time to harvest the broccoli. Harvest the head of broccoli from the plant. Make sure to harvest 6 to 8 inches below the head and take stem with it. Most verities of broccoli have side offshoots and further keep growing broccoli even after you harvest the main head. In many cases if climate isn’t too hot you can harvest many broccolis from the single plant till spring to fall.
You should store the broccoli up to 5 days in in refrigerator. If you want to store it longer and up to 1 year then froze it.