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Growing Broccoli

Category Vegetables
Growing Broccoli, Storing Broccoli, Canning Broccoli
Broccoli is a fun and easy vegetable to grow in your garden. Growing your own broccoli will mean you have the freshest possible broccoli for your family. This is a guide about growing broccoli.
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By 0 found this helpful
April 12, 2006

Botanical Name:

Brassica oleracea (Botrytis group)

Description:

Broccoli have thick, upright green stalks that hold heads of multiple clusters of tiny edible flower buds. They belong to the cabbage family.
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Planting Time:

Start seeds indoors 2 months before last frost date or 4 months before the first frost date if sowing seeds outdoors. Broccoli should be grown as a winter crop in warmer zones and planted in the fall for a spring harvest.

Exposure:

full sun (may need to provide shade during extreme heat spells).

Soil:

well-drained, nutrient-rich soil with a pH of 6.7 to 7.2

Planting:

Sow plants to a depth of 1/2 inch with 18 to 24 inches between plants and approximately 36 inches between rows. Set transplants 2 to 3 inches deeper than grown in pots. One plant can produce up to 2 lbs. of edible heads and side shoots.

Watering:

Keep soil evenly moist (not wet).

Maintenance:

Seedlings should be thinned to 18 to 24 inches apart once they form two true leaves to prevent plants from producing small heads.

Harvesting & Storage:

Broccoli should be harvested before the flower buds open. Cut off the main heads with a sharp knife when they reach 3 to 4 inches across. Cut the stems at an angle so water will run off the stems instead of collecting and causing stem rot. After removing the main head, smaller heads will sprout and should be cut when they are green. Soak heads in salt water for 30 minutes before cooking or storing to drive out any hidden cabbage worms lurking in the heads. Store broccoli wrapped for 1 week in the refrigerator.

Diseases and Pests:

All members of the cabbage family are subject to a variety of diseases. The best defense is crop rotation and good cultivation practices.

Tips to Success:

Start spring crops indoors to protect them from temperature fluctuations and developing premature flower heads or "buttons."
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Comment Was this helpful? Yes

By 3 found this helpful
September 7, 2015

When harvesting your brassicas, leave the root in the ground with a few leaves still attached. In a few weeks time you will find you have tiny cabbages sprouting out from the stump which can be used as spring greens in late summer! Also baby cauliflowers and broccoli sprouts.

cooking tiny cauliflowers

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By 1 found this helpful
May 31, 2012

If you have planted a garden and grow broccoli, once you have cut the main head off, leave the plant alone. It will produce side heads of broccoli, quite a bit smaller than the main head, but still just as edible as the main head. I usually have broccoli all summer using this method.

Source: A friend told me

By Elaine from Belle Plaine, IA

Comment Was this helpful? 1

October 3, 20150 found this helpful

This is a guide about growing brassicas. The plants in this genus are members of the mustard family and include, cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower.

closeup of a cabbage

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Questions

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By 0 found this helpful
February 8, 2016

How do you keep those tiny worms out of broccoli?

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
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