Broccoli

Broccoli

Broccoli

The apparent anti-cancer properties and high vitamin content make broccoli popular. In addition, it’s easy to grow. You can harvest it in summer or autumn on the appearance of bluish-green heads. 

Table of Contents

    Sowing Broccoli

    The time for sowing the seeds is from March to June. You can sow both indoors and outdoors depending upon the time when you are planting the seeds.

    Indoor sowing:

    Follow these steps or tips to sow the broccoli seeds indoors or in the greenhouse:

    • Sow seeds in modular trays from March to April.
    • Sow two seeds in one module
    • Trim the seedlings after the seeds had germinated. Make sure you have removed all the weaker seedlings.
    • Leave only one seedling per module during thinning out.
    • Apply liquid feed once a week
    • Plant the young plants in fertile soil when they have grown up to 4-6 inches tall.
    • Make sure enough sunlight is reaching the place where you’re planting the young plants.
    • Apply high potassium fertilizer. Vitax Q4 is one of the best fertilizers to apply. You can also use manure or compost. However, reduce the amount of fertilizer to half in that case.
    • Make sure plants are about 1 ft apart and rows are 18 inches apart. This step is essential; otherwise, the crop will not grow properly.

    Outdoor sowing:

    • Sow the seeds outdoors from April
    • Make sure the seeds are 1 ft apart and ¾ inches deep
    • Control slugs and snail to prevent damage to seedlings
    • Thin out the seedlings when they are grown enough. Make sure there is one healthy seedling every 1 ft.

    Growing Broccoli

    The best conditions for broccoli growth are hydrated, well-drained, and fertile soil with enough sunlight. 

    • Broccoli also grows best in the soil with light shade.  
    • Use fleece to cover the seedbeds and the newly transplanted plants that have been raised indoors. It will keep the cabbage root fly away from your crop. However, you can remove the fleece in May because there is a low risk of damage then.
    • Water your crop every 10-14 days in dry weather.
    • Apply high nitrogen fertilizer when the plant is about 8 inches tall. Sulphate of ammonia is good high nitrogen fertilizer. You can add 35g of it to each square metre/yard.
    • Net the plants to protect the heads from the damage that birds may cause.

    A cool summer is the best season for the production of better heads. However, plants may prematurely go to the seed stage in hot weather. However, you can opt for better cultivars that resist this process.

    Harvesting Broccoli

    You can harvest the crop from late winter to autumn. However, the exact time of harvesting depends on the variety and the time when you had sown.

    It takes around 2-3 months for plants to grow. After that, you can pick for one month. But the question is when you can harvest the broccoli.

    Well, you can harvest it when you see well-formed spears or heads. However, make sure flowering has not begun while harvesting.

    Pick the central spear first and then move to smaller spears. Now you can pick spears regularly over 4-6 weeks.

    broccoli

    Common problems

    Birds

    Birds, especially pigeons, can cause damage to the crop. They can eat seedlings, fruit, buds, leaves, and vegetables.  

    Remedy

    • Cover the plants with fleece or net.
    • Bird-scaring or scarecrows could also help.

    Caterpillars

    Caterpillars, especially the cabbage white butterfly, gorge on brassicas. These holes even invade up to the cabbage heart. They make holes in the leaves. So, you will see either holes in the leaves or caterpillars on the broccoli crop.

    broccoli

    Remedy

    • Pick the caterpillars with your hand in the mild attack.
    • Fine netting (with 5-7mm mesh size) and insect-proof mesh help prevent egg-lying.

    Clubroot

    The plants with clubroot show the following symptoms:

    • Roots become distorted and swollen
    • Leaves become pale yellow

    Even the death of the plant may also occur with this disease.

    Remedy

    • Add lime to the soil. Lime will make the soil alkaline.
    • Improve drainage
    • Avoid growing the plant in affected soil.

    Cabbage root fly

    It primarily affects the seedlings. The white larvae of cabbage root fly eat the roots. As a result,

    • The growth of the plants get affected
    • The plant will wilt or die.

    Remedy

    Use horticulture fleece and insect-free netting over the crop.

    Would you like some recipe ideas for Broccoli? Check out these recipes for BBC Good Food

    How are some varieties that you might like to try:

    For more information or assistance with this article, or if you want to add something that you feel is relevant, we would love to hear from you via the Contact Us page.

    06/17/2021 | Vegetables | 0 Comments

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