This hardy veggie grows the best during the cooler months of the year. How to grow broccoli will take some rich soil, full sun, water and plenty of cool weather. The seeds will sprout the best in sixty to seventy degree weather. You’ll see the best results if you grow your broccoli in the Fall or Spring. Broccoli can grow in just six to eight weeks for Spring crops and about five weeks for a Fall crop.
The Basics of How to Grow Broccoli
How to grow broccoli is actually much easier than growing asparagus or lettuce. This plant tends to need steady moisture in order to grow fast and produce large heads. In order to help keep the soil moist and cool you should use finely ground leaves, or an organic mulch. In very cold climates you’ll need to plant black plastic if the temperature normally drops below sixty degree. Using the plastic will help keep the soil warm.
For good growth you’ll need to use a liquid fertilizer regularly, or you can purchase an organic time released fertilizer. Using a rich soil is also crucial for healthy growth.
Typically, broccoli should be plants about eighteen inches apart. If you’re planting them in rows, you should space the rows about two feet apart.
Broccoli needs to be watered regularly, using one to two inches of water each week. Leave a rain gauge in your garden to accurately measure the amount of water your veggies are getting.
These plants are very temperature sensitive. If your young plants are exposed to weather below forty degrees for more than a week, this type of cold will trigger the heads to grow and form way too early. If you plant too late in the year and the weather gets hots, you’re also likely to experience this same type of early blooming.
When it comes to pests, the best way to prevent them is to keep your garden clean and your broccoli healthy. The main types of pests for broccoli include root maggots, cabbage loopers, flea beetles and cabbageworms. Disease includes root rot and black leg.
Harvesting your Broccoli
Once you see a flower head forming in the center of the plant, closely monitor its growth daily. Usually, it’s recommended that you harvest broccoli while the small buds are closed tightly. If you buds begin to show yellow, slice the head from the stem immediately, regardless of how small the plant is. This is because an opening bud will have a mealy texture. After you have cut off the main head, leave the plant to grow small sized shoots, which will form in the axils of leaves. Most broccoli grown at home will be smaller than what you’ll find at the grocery store.
Once harvested soak in cool water for one hour in order to remove any insects, dirt and debris. As you can see, how to grow broccoli will mainly depend on your climate. After the first season of growing this veggie you should have a better idea of when to plant broccoli the following year.