If you have adequate space for a vegetable garden, you’ve probably wondered how to grow broccoli at least once? Because it is such a nutritious vegetable, many of us want to consume it as soon as possible. Becoming an easy plant to grow, as long as you have enough space. The edible part of this plant is the heads (also known as pellets), which are the inflorescences, although you can also enjoy other parts of this plant. In this article, you will learn how to grow this cruciferous vegetable and some care to obtain a very prosperous crop of pellets or flower heads.
Tips On How to Grow Broccoli
Seeds In the Ground or Seedbeds
It is possible to sow the seed directly in the soil, however, it is advisable to do it in seedbeds or trays, because it is a winter vegetable that hardly develops in summer unless your climate allows it. Something to keep in mind if you are going to sow the seeds directly in the ground is that the hot season must have passed, becoming important to start sowing in autumn.
On the other hand, the sowing of seeds in seedbeds can be started in mid-summer due to the greater facility to transport them to a suitable environment. Once autumn has begun, transplanting to soil is carried out (Order Quality Seeds Here).
In both cases, the important thing is that the plant is not exposed to the hot days of spring and summer during the flowering season.
Broccoli needs many nutrients and grows best in soils with a neutral pH (6.0-7.0), it also needs direct sun.
- Brassica oleracea - Open-Pollinated - Non-GMO - 94% Germination Rate with the current lot
- This variety is a great cool climate crop that is well suited for home gardening and was developed specifically for enduring the cold weather of Waltham, MA. Performs great in fall.
- Known for producing large heads and long stalks, this longtime favorite is excellent for cooking fresh or freezing.
How To Grow Broccoli Step by Step
One of the tips on how to plant broccoli is to leave a space of 20″ (50 centimeters) between each plant.
Although it is not recommended, if you have decided to plant the seed directly, then you should place 2 to 3 seeds per hole. This will allow you to choose the plant that has developed the most while discarding the smaller ones.
If you are going to transplant your plants from the seedbed, then you should make a fairly deep hole. Apply a generous handful of worm castings and a layer of soil. The soil layer should be thick enough to prevent the roots from coming into direct contact with the worm castings. The new plant is placed on top of the soil and covered with soil up to the stem of the first leaf. Compact the soil and apply good watering with a liquid fertilizer.
Once you have finished transplanting broccoli, it is recommended to put a layer of mulch to maintain moisture and protect the soil.
The seedlings are ready when the second pair of true leaves appear. The distance between plants is 16″ (40 cm). Pull out the seedlings carefully so as not to hurt the roots. If the roots are very kinked you should loosen them and trim them a little if necessary, this will promote their growth. The depth of the transplant hole should be deep enough to cover even the first true leaves. Water your seedlings after transplanting.
When to Grow Broccoli: Climate, Lighting?
One rule on how to plant broccoli is to know that this plant prefers cool climates. The ideal temperature for its development is between 60 to 65 °F (16 to 18 °C). The time of sowing depends a lot on the variety chosen and your climate. However, as a general rule, it is advisable to avoid the plant developing in the middle of summer. If you live in an area with warm temperatures, it is advisable to choose varieties that are more resistant to heat.
As far as lighting is concerned, this plant needs to be in full sun, or receive at least 6 hours of sunlight.
Soil to Grow Broccoli
A tip on how to plant broccoli is that this plant does best in drained soil with a sandy to clay loam texture. It should also be fertile soil with plenty of organic matter. The pH of the soil should be between 6 and 7. Learn more about How to Measure Soil pH.
Before planting broccoli it is important to know the history of the soil you are going to use, avoiding those places where other plants of its family have been previously planted, including cauliflower, cabbage, among others. Remember that it is important to rotate crops to avoid the spread of pests and diseases.
Watering Broccoli Plant
When it comes to how to plant broccoli and the water it needs, keep in mind that it requires an even supply of water. One tip is to stick your finger in to check that the soil is very deeply moistened as if you only water the soil lightly broccoli can develop shallow roots and have trouble getting the nutrients it needs. Mulching will also be very helpful in maintaining the moisture this cruciferous vegetable needs.
Nutrients, Fertilizers, and Fertilization
Broccoli cultivation requires a large number of nutrients, especially phosphorus and potassium, especially during flowering.
This plant can be harvested 65 to 70 days after planting, although there are varieties that can take up to 140 days. When the heads are compact and have a diameter of 3″ to 8″ (7.5 to 20 cm), it is ready to harvest. Harvesting is done by cutting off the head, leaving a large part of the stem. Depending on the variety of broccoli that has been planted, you may get some secondary heads after harvesting the main head. It is critical to ensure that the flower buds have not yet blossomed; else, harvesting would be impossible.
How to Grow Broccoli: Tips
Keep the space free of weeds, the growth of the seedlings can be affected and can bring pests.
Fertilize the plants when the inflorescence begins to form.
Observe the plants at least twice a week to prevent pests and diseases.
Keep the soil moist.
We hope this article on how to grow broccoli will be useful. If you like to grow vegetables in your garden we recommend you our article about Fast Growing Vegetables for Impatiens Gardeners.