How to Grow Broccoli?
Interestingly, broccoli is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables, which also includes kale, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage. These vegetables are known for their many health-promoting properties. Transplanting seedlings is the best way to get started with growing broccoli heads. You can purchase seedlings from your local nursery or garden center. So, how to grow broccoli?
When to Plant Broccoli?
The best time to plant broccoli seeds is in the spring or summer, after the last frost date. Broccoli is a cool-season crop, but does not tolerate harsh climate and frost.
For this reason, it’s important to wait until the weather is warm enough before planting broccoli in your garden. The ideal temperature for growing broccoli is between 40 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Space broccoli plants about 18 inches apart from each other.
How to Harvest Broccoli Plants?
When the buds begin to open, cut the heads with a sharp knife, being sure to leave at least two inches of stem. Once broccoli is cut, it begins to deteriorate quickly, so it is important to use it immediately or store it properly. To store broccoli, place it in a plastic bag and keep it in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
How to Care for Broccoli Plants – Soil Requirements
How to grow broccoli? The right soil is important. Broccoli grows best in rich, loamy soil that is well-drained. The soil should have a pH level of 6.0-6.8. If your soil is too acidic or alkaline, you can adjust the soil pH level by adding lime or sulfur to it.
It’s also important to make sure that your soil is high in organic matter, as this will help to retain moisture and improve the drainage. You can add compost or manure to your soil before planting broccoli to achieve this.
How to Grow Broccoli – A Summary of Broccoli Growing Tips
So, how to grow broccoli? Here are a few tips that you should be aware of.
- Choose a sunny spot in your garden for planting. Broccoli needs at least 6 hours of full sun to thrive.
- Amend the soil with compost or manure before planting. This will help improve drainage and add nutrients to the soil.
- Water your plants regularly, especially during hot, dry periods. Broccoli needs 1-2 inches of water per week.
- Use a floating row cover to protect your plants from pests. This will also help keep the soil moist and warm.
- Harvest your broccoli promptly when it’s ready. Don’t let the florets open or turn yellow, as this will reduce the quality of the crop.
- Fertilize broccoli with a 10-10-10 fertilizer at planting.
- Remember to mulch around your plants.
Pests – How to Protect Plants?
If you want to learn how to grow broccoli, you should also be aware of the pests that can damage your crop. The most common pests that attack broccoli are caterpillars, aphids, and flea beetles.
They feed on the leaves of broccoli plants, causing them to become ragged and damaged. The way to control these pests is to use a floating row cover, which will prevent them from getting to the plants. You can also use organic pest control methods, such as releasing ladybugs into your garden, which will feed on the aphids.