Broccoli is a cool-season, sun-loving crop that is best to cultivate in the spring. It’s also nutritious vegetable crop also known as the ‘crown jewel of nutrition’.
Health benefits of Broccoli
For its nutritious quality alone, broccoli is worth increasing. This crop is rich in vitamins and minerals and is a healthy source of vitamin A, potassium, iron, fiber, and folic acid. When you harvest a broccoli plant’s primary head, it will also continue to grow smaller side shoots that can enjoy for months to come.
In this post, you will get to know about How to plant broccoli, insect and disease management in Broccoli farming, how to harvest Broccoli and marketing of Broccoli.
Here’s how in the garden to plant, cultivate, and harvest broccoli
When to plant broccoli
1. Broccoli is a cool-season plant, so it is to plant for the best results in early spring or mid-to-late summer. Plant broccoli so that when temperatures reach no more than 75°F (23°C) per day, it comes to harvest. High mid-summer temperatures can stunt growth, so the priority is to get broccoli to maturity before or after high temperatures are expected. Therefore, it is good to start the cultivation of Broccoli in Late October or November starting days.
2. Broccoli seeds are capable of germinating as low as 40°F (4°C) in soil temperatures, but warmer soil is desired and will great accelerate growth.
3. Broccoli can be started indoors or outdoors a few weeks before the last spring frost date for spring plantings.
4. Start your seeds indoors six to eight weeks before your last date of frost.
5. Sow 2 to 3 weeks before the last freeze date outside, or as soon as the soil starts to work.
6. Sow seeds outdoors 85 to 100 days before the first fall freeze, when soil and atmospheric temperatures are high, for fall plantings (best in warm climates). Or, in late May, launch the seeds.
Preparing the planting site for Broccoli cultivation
1) A location with maximum sun exposure (6 to 8 hours a day) demands broccoli. The lack of sunlight can use to grow thin, leggy plants and subpar heads.
2) Plant in the moist, fertile soil bed that drains well.
3) The soil pH, between 6.0 and 7.0.0, and should be mildly acidic.
4) Run on 2 to 4 inches of rich compost or a thin layer of manure in early spring to increase productivity before planting. Read more about soil changes and transplanting soil planning.
HOW TO PLANT BROCCOLI
1. Sow seeds 1⁄2 inch deep and 3 inches apart if starting outdoors. Thin them so that plants are 12 to 20 inches apart before seedlings reach a height of 2 to 3 inches.
2. Crop transplants that are 4 to 6 weeks old (and have 4 to 5 leaves) outside, 12 to 20 inches apart, in holes slightly smaller than their container depth, if you began seeds indoors.
3. Space broccoli rows 3 feet apart. Closer spacing creates smaller primary heads, but still more secondary head and provide sufficient water.
Broccoli plant care
- In 65 ° F to 70 ° F (18 ° to 21 ° C) conditions, plants flourish outdoors.
- Three weeks after transplanting the seedlings into the greenhouse, fertilize the broccoli. Use of a low-nitrogen fertilizer.
- Thin as plants exceeds a height of 2 or 3 inches.
- Provide consistent soil moisture, especially in drought conditions, with frequent watering. At least 1-11⁄2 inches of water every week.
- Do not get damp while watering to create broccoli heads, as it can promote rot.
- There are very shallow roots, so don’t try to disturb the plants. Suffocate weeds with the help of mulch.
- Mulch may also help to keep the temperature of the soil down.
- To eliminate rodents, use row covers.
- Maintain an aggressive feeding and watering routine to encourage the development of a second head after the first have harvested.
- If the leaves turn yellow at the bottom and then at the end, add blood meal.
Insect and Disease control in Broccoli
Aphids: Curling leaves may indicate that insects are sucking up the sap of the plant. Whenever you see aphids, add soapy water to all the sides of the stems.
Cabbage loopers: Tiny gaps between the veins on the leaves indicate that there are small green caterpillars present. Look at the leaves’ undersides.
Cabbage worm and other worm pests: It will be the same as loopers. Tiny gaps between the veins on the leaves indicate that there are small green caterpillars present.
Clubroot disease of Broccoli: This fungus in the soil can be due to quickly wilting plants. The whole plant must be carefully dug up and discarded, including both roots and root tendrils. If the roots are gnarled and misshapen, so the concern is clubroot. Spray fungicides to control this broccoli culbroot disease.
Downy Mildew disease of Broccoli: Wet weather conditions can cause yellow spots on the leaves. With good air circulation, keep your leaves as dry as possible. Buy resistant varieties.
Nitrogen deficiency: If the bottom leaves turn yellow and the issue continues to the top of the plant, a high nitrogen (but low phosphorus) fertiliser or blood meal is necessary for the plants. A rapid nitrogen fix for yellowing leaves is blood meal.
How to harvest Broccoli:
Harvesting of Broccoli is done just 60-65 days after transplanting. In the morning, when the buds of the head are firm and tight, it harvests broccoli just before the heads bloom. If you see yellow petals, quickly harvest them, as the consistency will decline rapidly. Break the heads with at least 6 inches of stem from the plant. To encourage water to slip away, make a slant cut on the stalk. The middle of a flat-cut, running the secondary heads, will pool water and rot. The majority of varieties have side-shoots that will begin to grow after harvesting the main head. For several weeks, you can pick from a single plant, in some cases, from spring to fall, if your summer isn’t too humid.
How to store Broccoli:
For up to 5 days, store broccoli in the refrigerator. Be sure to dry it properly if you wash it before storing it. It is possible to blanch and freeze broccoli for up to a year.