Broccoli is one type of cabbage plant that is delicious and full of healthy vitamins. This is one of the easiest types of cabbage to grow and requires little maintenance throughout the growth cycle. Broccoli is a unique plant in that it can produce two crops per year (in fall and summer) depending on when you plant it. Choose an area of plantation land that is exposed to good sunlight and fertile soil and start planting now.
Method 1 of 4: Growing Broccoli Seeds
Step 1. Check soil pH
Broccoli is better suited to growing in soils with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. You can test the soil by adding different nutrients to adjust the acidity. Be sure to test the soil periodically during the growing process.
- Your local agricultural extension office will usually provide a form of testing for this.
- If the soil pH level in your field is below 6.0, add acid compost or plant mix.
- If the soil pH in your field is above 7.0, mix in granulated sulfur.
Step 2. Ensure the best possible water supply for the soil for soil fertility
If your soil doesn't meet the steps of these conditions, there are several things you can do to get your garden ready to grow broccoli.
- If your land is prone to flooding, consider building a plot of plantation land to raise your plot of land above ground level. If possible, use cedar wood to build your garden plot, as cedar wood does not rot when exposed to water.
- To increase the fertility of your soil, mix fertilizer until it reaches a thickness of 10 cm into your soil. If your soil is in very poor condition, also add a nitrogen-rich organic fertilizer to fertilize the soil.
- Organic fertilizers such as alfalfa, cottonseed, and manure are good choices for broccoli plants.
Step 3. Select an area of land that is filled with sunlight
Although broccoli prefers sunlight, this plant will prefer some shade.
Step 4. Directly sow the seeds outdoors
For a summer harvest, sow the seeds two to three weeks before the end of spring. For fall harvests, sow the seedlings directly outdoors 85-100 days before the first frost.
- Alternatively, start growing seedlings indoors. If you choose to start growing your seedlings indoors, allow them to grow in peat pots or other small seedling pots. Store in a bright room.
- If sowing seeds indoors, follow the same steps for sowing seeds outdoors. You will only miss the thinning aspect as you can plant the seedlings far apart to begin with.
Step 5. Dig holes 1 cm deep separately spaced about 7-15 cm apart
Place a few seeds in each hole and cover with soil.
- Use a rake to smooth the seedling soil if you are planting outdoors, but make sure not to damage the seedlings.
- It is enough to pat the soil that has been planted in the seedling with your fingers if planting in a peat pot.
Step 6. Use clean water after sowing broccoli seeds
Water the soil, but be sure not to leave standing water, broccoli loves good draining conditions. If you are growing seedlings indoors, use a spray bottle to water the soil.
Step 7. Set the soil temperature
If sowing seedlings directly outdoors, it is recommended to use organic mulch made from mature compost, leaves, or bark to maintain soil stability. Alternatively, if you are planting in cold temperatures, use black plastic as a cover to heat the soil. You can buy plastic covers at your local garden supply store, but any semi-sturdy black plastic like tarpaulin will do better.
Step 8. Adjust the height of the plant
When the outdoor seedlings reach a height of 2.5 cm or more, you will need to thin the plant to make room for the broccoli to continue to grow. Remove all other herbs to thin out the row. Choose healthy and fresh plants. This will help the broccoli plant to continue to grow properly.
Method 2 of 4: Transplanting Seedlings From Indoors
Step 1. Do the grafting when it has reached a height of 10-15 cm
Usually this will take about six weeks. The height and development of the plant is more important than the duration of the germination process.
Step 2. Drain the water before fertilizing
Make sure you have completed the proper soil preparation methods outlined above before planting the seedlings, including fertilizing the soil.
Step 3. Dig a hole 7 cm deep and give room for 1-2 meters of seedlings
You want the soil to reach the base of the leaves first, but not cover it. Small varieties can be planted at a distance of 30 cm per plant.
Step 4. Adjust the soil temperature
You can use organic mulch made from mature compost, leaves, or bark to keep the soil stable. You can also use black plastic as a shield to keep the soil temperature at bay.
Step 5. Wet the soil with water thoroughly after planting
Method 3 of 4: Caring For Broccoli Plants
Step 1. Water the broccoli plant regularly
For your plants between 2 to 3 cm of water per week. Broccoli likes moist soil.
- If you want to use a technical way of doing it, you can use rainfall to measure the amount of water in your soil.
- Be sure to find the crown on the broccoli shoots that are wet when watering. This can prevent them from getting moldy.
- In very hot or dry conditions, increase the amount of water to your plants.
Step 2. Fertilize your plants about three weeks after planting
Use a nitrogen-rich, organic fertilizer when your broccoli plant begins to form new leaves. You can continue to fertilize the plants about twice a week until they are ready to harvest.
Step 3. Avoid digging or turning the soil
Broccoli plants have very short roots. If you disturb the soil you may accidentally break the roots and damage your broccoli plant.
- If weeds develop around the plants, they will die by the mulch do not pull them from the soil to avoid disturbing the roots.
- If you prefer not to grow organically, you can also use chemical pesticides to remove unwanted weeds from your garden without disturbing the broccoli roots.
Step 4. Harvesting broccoli plants
You want to harvest the broccoli crowns when the green shoots are tightly closed and dark. Avoid waiting until the flower buds start to turn green or light yellow. Cut the crown that is connected to the stem using garden shears.
- See "Selecting a Variety" below for a variety of broccoli varieties.
- Avoid breaking the crown. A perfectly clean cut will encourage new growth.
- With a healthy cut, the broccoli plant continues to grow small shoots from the sides of the stem.
Method 4 of 4: Choosing a Variety
Step 1. Choose a variety of large shoots if you have plenty of space
The large-headed variety can produce a large crown between fall and spring. This is the most common variety found. This variety takes 50 to 70 days to mature if planted in the spring, and 65 to 90 days to mature if planted in the fall. Which includes large-headed varieties include:
Step 2. Choose a variety that has many shoots to plant in a mild winter climate
Varieties that can grow are characterized by their bushy appearance and small crown size. They will grow well between fall and spring. This variety takes 50 to 70 days to mature if planted in the spring, and 65 to 90 days to mature if planted in the fall. Which can be grown as varieties are:
- De Cicco
- Purple Peacock
- Purple Sprouting
Step 3. Choose a romanesco variety if you have good soil quality
The Romanesco variety grows with swirling, conical crowns that look especially good and crunchy when eaten. The Romanesco variety likes temperatures in the 80-degree range and contains a lot of water. This variety takes 75 to 90 days to mature if planted in the spring, and 85 to 100 days to mature if planted in the fall. Included in the Romanesco Varieties are:
- Italian Romanesco
Step 4. Choose the broccoli raab variety to harvest broccoli faster in cooler climates
These varieties are harvested as buds, making them richer in flavor than other varieties. They take only 40-55 days to mature if planted in the spring, and 50 to 75 days to mature if planted in the fall. Varieties of broccoli raab include:
- Early Fall Rapini
- Sessantina Grossa
- Broccoli can grow at the lowest temperature of 4ºC.
- If you are grafting seedlings, assume 10 days or so less for the broccoli to reach maturity.
- Bush beans, cucumbers, carrots and beets, other types of vegetables can be grown in the same garden and make great companion plants for broccoli.
- The white and purple varieties of broccoli should be planted in the spring.
- Note that if you live in a warm climate, it is best to plant your broccoli seedlings in the fall.
- Broccoli is susceptible to cabbage worms and caterpillars. Check your broccoli plants daily and pick parasites often to keep your vegetables pest free. You can also grow plants under cover or chemically eradicate pests using BTK, Rotenone or Pyrethrum.
- Insects and grasshoppers usually eat broccoli plants in the summer.