How to Grow Broccoli: Tasty Sprouts from Your Own Garden: Broccoli is rich in vitamins and minerals. Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italic) is closely related to cauliflower (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis). The cabbage species is also known by the following synonyms, depending on the region: Sprouting Cabbage, Broccoli Cabbage, Asparagus Cabbage, Italian Asparagus.
The origin of broccoli is believed to be in Asia Minor. Seeds were brought to Italy via traders, where the cabbage species had been cultivated for many centuries. It was not until the 16th century that it reached France through the Medici. From there, it was spread throughout the world. In today’s world Italy is one of the main countries where broccoli is grown. In this article, we are going to show you how to grow broccoli sprouts & proper care for broccoli.
- How to Grow Broccoli in Your Own Garden?
- Broccoli Varieties
- Harvesting Broccoli: Control Inflorescences and Harvest in Time
- Diseases and Pests of Broccoli
- Final Thoughts: How to Grow Broccoli?
- Is Broccoli easy to Grow?
- How long does it take to Grow Broccoli?
- What month do you Plant Broccoli?
- Is Growing Broccoli Worth it?
How to Grow Broccoli in Your Own Garden?
You may find interest in how to grow broccoli sprouts in soil. In contrast to its other cabbage relatives, broccoli makes higher demands on the soil. It is a heavy grower and requires nutrient-rich, humus-rich, and well-drained soil. It is best to use nutrient-rich and fertilized soil. Alternatively, garden soil is enriched with plenty of compost before planting. A sunny location is preferred.
Tips: To thrive, broccoli needs adequate water during the dry summer months. A layer of mulch helps keep moisture in the soil longer.
There are early-maturing varieties and later ones that are not harvested until fall. Depending on the variety and desired harvest time, seeds can be sown between March and June. If you sow broccoli over several weeks, you can enjoy fresh and tasty broccoli from your garden almost all summer and fall. The seeds should be covered with about 2 cm of soil. After the broccoli plants are about 10 to 15 cm tall, they can be pricked out and planted 30 to 60 cm apart. Close planting with a distance of about 30 cm is suitable only for compact varieties such as Kabuki or Cezar, which can also be grown on the balcony or terrace.
If the broccoli has been planted in nutrient-rich soil, it needs to be supplied with a primarily organic fertilizer with nitrogen and potassium content only after about three months. However, you should stop fertilizing a few weeks before the first harvest. This will make the broccoli particularly aromatic.
Do you want to know the best varieties of broccoli to plant? When buying broccoli seeds for sprouting, you should pay attention to their respective characteristics. There are earlier and later varieties. In addition, there are so-called sprouting varieties that overwinter outdoors. These form many smaller flowers in early spring: a wonderful spring vegetable! You can find a comprehensive overview of varieties here: choose the right variety to grow.
- Calabrese: Old and very famous variety from Italy; large and quite a few small flowers; variety tends to have many side shoots and gives a constant and good yield.
- Calinaro: More compact variety with large heads and a very good taste; popular in hobby cultivation and smaller, direct-marketing farms.
- Cezar: Compact variety that stands out for its blue-greenish color; the main shoot forms relatively large heads.
- Kabuki (F1): Small and very early variety, suitable even for the balcony; forms many smaller heads on the side shoots.
- Parthenon (F1): Vigorous and rich-bearing variety that produces good yields even in cooler climates; compact and densely packed heads; popular in commercial cultivation.
- Rosalind: Old fancier variety with red-purple heads; variety branches vigorously, giving a good crop again and again for weeks.
- Summer Purple: A quite undemanding variety of sprouting broccoli, which even beginners can grow successfully; variety branches strongly; purple heads.
Harvesting Broccoli: Control Inflorescences and Harvest in Time
It is also important to know how to harvest broccoli when you are here for how to grow broccoli sprouts. After the first harvest, broccoli forms new shoots on the side shoots, which can also be harvested a few weeks later. You should always cut off the stem as well when harvesting, as this encourages side shoot formation. The inflorescences should be harvested just before the buds break open. During the hot summer months, broccoli grows very quickly, so the plants should be checked and harvested regularly.
If you grow broccoli yourself, you can ensure that no chemical sprays are used. Young plant parts can also be harvested and prepared in addition to broccoli heads. Don’t you think so? It’s definitely worth a try. Young stems can be peeled and then boiled or blanched in water, just as you would with asparagus. The taste and texture are actually reminiscent of green asparagus with a cabbage-like aroma. If one is already experimenting, the young leaves should also be tried. These can be prepared like spinach. Alternatively, fry the leaves briefly in a little olive oil or butter. In terms of taste, the leaves are tender and aromatic.
The closed inflorescences can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. However, if you want to benefit from the many vitamins, broccoli should be consumed as soon as possible after harvest. If you have harvested more than you can use, it is a good idea to cut the broccoli into small pieces and then freeze them.
Diseases and Pests of Broccoli
Young plants often suffer from leaf feeding by slugs. Earth fleas can also harm the leaves. In addition, there are common diseases and pests from which almost all types of cabbage suffer. These include the cabbage fly, the cabbage white butterfly, and the notorious cabbage hernia.
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In general, as with all cabbages, no cabbage should be grown in the same location for at least three to four years. If one wants to be especially safe, after harvesting, the remaining plant parts can be pulled out of the soil and then disposed of in the residual waste. The soil can then be limed.
Final Thoughts: How to Grow Broccoli?
The use of broccoli is vast. Broccoli is rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, and C and minerals, especially potassium, iron, zinc, and calcium. The low caloric value of about 30 kcal per 100g makes it interesting also for diets. Broccoli can be prepared in many ways, but the gentlest is steaming, which preserves most of the vitamins and minerals. Broccoli cooked in water usually releases many important substances to the water and thus loses nutritional value.
Besides, you know how to grow broccoli sprouts; you should learn something first. That is, to preserve as many vitamins and minerals as possible, broccoli should only be steamed for a short time (about 8 to 10 minutes). This not only preserves the valuable ingredients but also ensures a certain bite firmness. Alternatively, broccoli can be sauteed in a little butter for a few minutes and seasoned with garlic, salt, and nutmeg.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Is Broccoli easy to Grow?
Broccoli is one of the most popular and easy-to-grow crops. If you follow the above-mentioned steps with tips, you will be able to grow broccoli this spring successfully.
How long does it take to Grow Broccoli?
From seed to being harvested, it Usually takes 80 to 100 days for broccoli to grow. But it varies depending on your area, land, and temperature.
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What month do you Plant Broccoli?
Spring or fall is the ideal time to plant broccoli.
Is Growing Broccoli Worth it?
Broccoli starts to lose its antioxidants and nutrients after just a day of being picked. So you can always have freshly picked broccoli if you grow it by yourself. Besides, people are health conscious now. So you can make a huge amount of profit from broccoli farming.