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Vegetable

Growing Fresh Broccoli

Broccoli is an especially great veggie to grow because it is packed full of vitamin C, beta carotene, protein, and fibre while being light on calories. As far as vegetables go, it is one of the best choices you can make to ensure you’re eating healthy. It can be a little harder to grow than other green vegetables, which are leafier, like lettuce, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth the effort.

Broccoli should be planted between April and June, depending if you are looking to harvest it during the summer or during the fall. Broccoli seeds need a temperature of 50F to 85F. You can expect to see them sprouting within a week and a half from planting. Broccoli should be planted in rows that are three feet apart from each other, with plants in each row roughly three inches apart. You can grow broccoli closer together but when you do this the main heads come in much smaller; this is compensated for by an increase in the secondary heads that sprout off to the sides.

Broccoli needs to be watered heavily when it is first planted and then two to three times a week until harvest. Broccoli will need to be fertilized on a weekly basis after the seedlings are big enough, about a month after they’ve sprouted. Broccoli will do best with a fertilizer that has a lower ratio of nitrogen. However, you should avoid directly applying water or fertilizer onto the heads, but rather fertilize and water the soil itself. Broccoli heads rot when they are stuck in too much moisture and so it is better to be safe and avoid the possibility altogether. Note that broccoli plants have very small roots that don’t poke very far under the surface of the soil and so it is quite hard to overwater them or cause them to rot. With broccoli, the risk of rot is almost entirely above the ground.

Broccoli, when starting from seed, will take between one hundred and one hundred and fifty days to grow big enough to harvest. This makes it one of the slower crops that you can plant but the nutritional value can hardly be topped. Issues like pests or disease can be unavoidable but, other than these, the biggest headache for beginners growing broccoli is rotting heads. We have already discussed how to avoid this issue. You can start growing broccoli like a pro, right out the gate.

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