High in vitamins this member of the cabbage family will provide you with a healthy and delicious addition to any vegetable garden. This is generally an easy crop to grow if you follow the garden guide it will give you all the information you need.
Planning and Growing Broccoli
For a spring crop start indoors about 7 weeks before last Spring frost. About 3 weeks before last frost apply 5-10-10 fertilizer at a rate of 3 lbs per 100 square feet and cultivate lightly.If you are buying transplants plan on purchasing them 3 weeks before last frost date.
For fall planting plan on direct seeding 85 to 100 days before the first Fall frost. In warmer areas not bolting varieties are recommended.
Set transplants out 3 weeks before the last frost date about12″ to 18″ apart in rows 24″ to 36″ apart. Protect the new transplants from hard frost by using temporary cloche from plastic bottles or a row cover can be used.
For fall planting direct seed the broccoli in the garden. Sow the seeds 1/4 inch deep, 2 to 4 seeds per foot of row, leaving at least 24″ to 36″ between rows.
Maintenance And Care
When the direct seeded plants are is 4″ tall thin to 14″ to 24″ between the plants. After 3 weeks for transplants or 5 weeks for direst seeded apply 1 tablespoon full of high nitrogen fertilizer around each plant.
Harvest broccoli when the buds of the head are firm and tight before the heads flower. If you do see yellow petals, harvest immediately.Harvest in the morning before the soil heats up for best flavor. Cut heads from the plant. taking at least 6 inches of stem. Most varieties have side-shoots that will continue to develop after the main head is harvested. You can harvest from one plant for many weeks as long as the weather does not get too hot.