Cool-Season Vegetables: How To Grow Broccoli
Broccoli is a vegetable staple, and for good reason. It may be eaten cooked or raw, and either way it has lots of nourishment. It has also become a garden staple. Not only is it effortless to grow, but there is a surprising amount of variety in colour, with dark green to chartreuse to purple florets or heads.
Besides the standard broccoli heads, you may also develop broccoli rabe, also called raab or rapini, and sprouting broccoli. Rabe has miniature florets with a perky taste. Sprouting broccoli produces tons of florets along a stem as opposed to a single mind, and may be frequently seen in the gardens. All need the care.
More: The way to grow cool-season vegetables
When to plant: Start seeds indoors about six weeks before the last frost date in spring; you will want to ensure that the crop reaches maturity before hot weather sets in, as it will quickly bolt. Place plants about two weeks before the last frost date. In climates with mild winters, you can sow seeds in summer or in early fall to harvest later in the fall or in winter.
Days to maturity: 50 to 100
moderate requirement: Total sun; semi shade where sexy
Water necessity: Regular watering
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Planting and maintenance: Broccoli prefers very rich soil, so amend your bed before planting. Sow seeds fairly close to the surface, roughly 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep and an inch apart, then thin to 1 1/2 to 2 feet apart, or much more if the varieties are extremely large. Set transplants out at precisely the same spacing. Keep the plants evenly dispersed and mulch to keep the soil cool. Employ a high-nitrogen whole fertilizer just before heads form. Keep weeds down but be cautious when weeding to not harm the roots.
Unfortunately, broccoli brings a range of insects and diseases, including but not limited to aphids, cabbage worms, harlequin bugs, damping off, downy mildew and fusarium wilt. See your plants carefully and choose appropriate, but not extreme, measures if problems begin to emerge. Don’t go overboard; take some opportunity to see if the problem can correct itself obviously. If it continues, though, move on to stronger measures before you lose your harvest.
Harvest: Cut approximately 6 inches under the head right before it opens and flowers. The side branches will also form heads; harvest them the same way. Harvest the leaves and shoots of both raab and sprouting broccoli before they flower as well.