Location is important when planting your broccoli. Broccoli tends to like full sunlight, but putting your plants in an area where they will get some shade is best. That way they won’t begin to bolt and stop producing their rich heads. The plant should have about six hours of sunlight per day.Date Published: February 20, 2015Date Updated: February 20, 2015
Your broccoli will also need rich, well-drained soil. It’s helpful to add compost to the soil. Mulch can also help keep the plant cool and the soil moist during warmer months.Date Published: February 20, 2015Date Updated: February 20, 2015
Make sure you plant your broccoli when the weather is still cool. Once the weather is hot in the summer it will be difficult for the broccoli to grow.Date Published: February 20, 2015Date Updated: February 20, 2015
Depending on what kind of broccoli you’re planting you can have a crop in both the spring and fall. Most gardeners find it possible to have two harvests if they first plant a fast-maturing variety of broccoli like “Packman” for a spring crop. You can then plant a slower growing variety like “Marathon” in the fall that will be ready to harvest in early winter.Date Published: February 20, 2015Date Updated: February 20, 2015
When a broccoli plant reaches maturity you will start to see a flower head forming in the center of the plant. Make sure you are checking the broccoli everyday to watch its growth process. You should be harvesting broccoli when the tiny buds on the flower head are still tightly closed. If the buds look swollen or start to turn yellow make sure you cut the head from the stem immediately.
Once you’ve cut the main head off the plant, leave the rest of it to grow small side shoots out of the axils (place where the stem attaches to the head) of the leaves.Date Published: February 20, 2015Date Updated: February 20, 2015
Store vs. your garden
Don’t be disappointed if your broccoli heads are slightly smaller than ones that you find in the local grocery store. Those broccoli plants are kept in the most ideal climate possible and are given lots of attention while they’re growing.Date Published: February 20, 2015Date Updated: February 20, 2015
Once you’ve cut your broccoli heads you can either use them right away or store them. Broccoli can be refrigerated for up to five days. If you wash the broccoli heads off before you store them make sure to dry them off completely.
You can also freeze broccoli for up to a year after it’s been harvested.Date Published: February 20, 2015Date Updated: February 20, 2015
There are several different varieties of broccoli you can put in your garden depending on the time of year you want to plant.
- “Green Goliath” can handle the heat a little more than other varieties. It also grows side shoots that will also mature to harvest.
- “Green Duke” does well in Southern gardens.
- “Calabrese” works well for planting in the fall.
- “Galion” or Chinese broccoli comes from Asia and is smaller in size, has strong flavor and dark green leaves, and grows very quickly.
- “Arcadia” has small, beaded heads with purple-green coloring.
- “Belstar” can withstand both the heat and cold making it a reliable plant for spring and fall.Date Published: February 20, 2015Date Updated: February 20, 2015
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