Best Method to Grow Broccoli; Read Dos & Don’ts
Broccoli is not very popular among common people in India but gradually it is making its place in the kitchen these days.
Broccoli is among the best crops for health that is most suitable to be grown in the spring. It’s also called 'crown jewel of nutrition' as it is incredibly healthy. This vegetable is rich in vitamins, minerals and is a good source of Vitamin A, potassium, folic acid, iron, and fiber.
After the main head of this plant is cut down, it will keep on producing smaller side shoots that can be enjoyed for months. In excessive summer the heat can cause bolting, so broccoli is best grown in the cooler spring and fall seasons.
How to do Broccoli Planting?
• It requires full sun and moist fertile soil that is slightly acidic for its cultivation.
• Before planting it in early spring, work in 2 to 4 inches of rich compost or a thin layer of manure before planting.
• Sow broccoli seed directly in the ground once the soil is at least 40°F. This is done 2 to 3 weeks before the last spring date.
• The seed of broccoli should be planted half-inch deep and three inches apart.
• You can also set out transplants with 4 or 5 leaves, about 2 to 3 weeks before the last spring frost date and they should be 12 to 20 inches apart, in holes that should be slightly deeper than their container depth.
• Rows space = 36 inches apart.
• Water well.
• Plants flourish outdoors at 65°F to 70°F conditions.
• For fall plantings, direct sow broccoli 85 to 100 days before the first fall frost, when soil and ambient temperatures are high.
What care should be taken?
• Fertilize broccoli till three weeks after transplanting seedlings into the garden.
• Use low nitrogen fertilizers.
• In drought conditions, provide consistent soil moisture with regular watering. Watering should be done at least 1 to 1 ½ inches per week.
• Try not to disturb the plants because roots are very shallow.
• Use Mulch as it will help to keep soil temperatures down.
• Use row covers to minimize pests.
• Maintain an active feeding and watering schedule, to promote the growth of a second head after the first has been harvested
• If you notice bottom, then top, leaves turn yellow, then add blood meal,
Broccoli Harvest/ Storage
• Harvest broccoli in the morning time
• Harvest broccoli before it heats up when the buds of the head are firm and tight, just before the heads flower.
• You can store broccoli in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
• Dry the broccoli before storing if you have washed it.
• Broccoli can be frozen for up to one year.
Benefits of eating broccoli:
• It protects against heart-related diseases.
• It reduces the risk of getting cancer.
• It helps in preventing the risk of depression.
• It helps to boost immunity.
• It keeps the mother away from many types of infections during pregnancy.