and advice on growing broccoli
successfully. Learn how to grow broccoli with the right climate, soil
when to harvest and how to store. Broccoli is rich in vitamin C,
protein, fiber and flavor and has many uses in the kitchen. We will
show you how to grow broccoli successfully with this step-by-step guide.
to plant vegetables, as well as during the
month for planting
by the moon.
Introduction to Growing Broccoli
Broccoli is a super
that is grown as an annual and can be
purchased either as seed or as seedlings from your local nursery. When
growing broccoli from seed, expect the seedlings to emerge within
day of planting. Broccoli should be ready for harvesting within 8-10
of planting, depending of course on the climatic conditions at the time
and the variety of what you have chosen.
Best Climate for Growing Broccoli
Growing broccoli successfully means that the plants need to mature
cooler times of the year and is not very suitable for hot, tropical
areas that don't get a cold winter. In temperate areas broccoli needs
planted out by mid-autumn. Therefore, the planting of broccoli seed
done in February, in the Southern Hemisphere and by August in the
Soil Conditions for Growing Broccoli
The broccoli plant likes to be grown in
in a soil that is light, rich in organic matter and moist but not wet.
So when growing broccoli dig the soil over well so that it is dug down
to a depth of 25 cm. The
add generous amounts of farmyard manure, compost, and blood and bone.
Like most leaf vegetables broccoli
plants like to have an alkaline soil, with a pH of 6.5. This can
by adding lime at the suggested rate given on the bag. Dig the lime in
well, water in well and leave the bed for at least a week before
planting out your seedlings.
Growing Broccoli from Seed
Although broccoli seeds can be planted directly
into the prepared bed, I prefer to use seed trays, although this is
just personal choice. When thinking about your family needs, 10 broccoli plants
would be more than enough for the average-sized family.
Broccoli seeds should be sown in seed
trays to a
depth of 6mm and covered lightly with seed raising mix or sand and
vermiculite, or sand mixed with a light soil. Mist well, with water,
and place some sheets of wet newspaper on the top. Keep wet and remove
once the seeds start germinating.
Once the broccoli seedlings have grown
height of 10 cm it is time to transplant them. Before planting your
broccoli plants out
however, just check to see if they have a growing tip, or central bud.
If they don't, discard these as these plants are 'blind' and won't come
Growing Broccoli from Seedlings
Growing broccoli can also be done directly using seedlings. Using
something to make a depression in
the soil to a depth of 1.5 cm and place 2-3 seed in each hole, at 50 cm
apart. Cover the hole with soil and water well with a fine spray so as
not to dislodge your seeds. When the seedlings emerge and are 10 cm in
height, choose the strongest of the plants and discard the rest,
leaving just one plant per hole.
Broccoli seedlings growing for
Cultivation of Broccoli Plants Once a fortnight feed
with a liquid fertilizer; seaweed, manure tea, nettle tea etc .
sure that the beds are free from competitive weeds by removing by hand.
These can be added to the compost heap as long as they haven't seeded.
Knowing when to Harvest Your Growing Broccoli Harvest your broccoli
before the head
of the plant starts to be broken by leafy points. The
firm and compact, not open and loose. Cut the head, taking
approximately 10 cm of stalk and few leaves with it. After this
harvest, smaller heads will sprout in its place. These can be harvested
too. They will be smaller than the first harvest, but very tender.
Broccoli more than ready to be
How Much Broccoli do you get from each Plant? You can expect a crop
yield of about
750 g of broccoli, per plant.
Pests and Diseases when Growing Broccoli
Of all the Brassicas broccoli is by far
the most resistant to insects and diseases. However, you still need to
be on the lookout for harmful insects when growing broccoli.
A white cabbage butterfly on
cabbage white butterfly
caterpillar is its main enemy, being green in color and difficult to
detect. Use the herb dill for companion
planting to distract the butterflies so that they
don't get a chance to lay their eggs. See our page on natural
pesticides for getting rid of aphids with organic
pest control recipes, as aphids can be another problem to broccoli.
Answers on Growing Broccoli
Q. How large
should the central head of broccoli grow before cutting?
A. Harvest the
central head when the individual florets begin to enlarge and develop
and before flowering begins. Size varies with variety, growing
conditions and season of growth; but central heads should grow to be 4
to 6 inches in diameter, or even larger. Late side shoots may reach
only 1 to 2 inches in diameter.
causes small plants, poor heading and early flowering?
A. Yellow flowers
may appear before the heads are ready to harvest during periods of high
temperatures. Planting too late in the spring or failing to give the
plants a good start contributes to this condition. Premature flower
development also may be caused by interrupted growth resulting from
extended chilling of young plants, extremely early planting, holding
plants in a garden center until they are too old or too dry, and severe
Small broccoli heads that
after plants are set in the garden are called "buttons" and usually
result from mistreated seedlings being held too long or improperly
before sale or planting. Applying a starter fertilizer at transplanting
gets the broccoli plants off to a good start but cannot correct all the
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