Grow broccoli the fun and easy way! Broccoli is a container-friendly plant that can be readily grown in cooler temperatures. They are an excellent source of protein, thiamin, calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. It also contains significant amounts of vitamins A, C, E and K.
A cup of raw broccoli contains 31 calories! It can be eaten raw, steamed or sautéed. Broccoli serves as a great addition to any home garden. A cooler weather plant, broccoli should be planted in late spring or early fall. You will need at least six to eight hours of sunlight for best results. Broccoli can tolerate soil temperatures as low as 40 degrees. Use a deep container with a depth of at least 10 inches.
Grow broccoli in moist fertile soil. I will typically use top soil, peat moss and compost. Best results are yielded when planting a few weeks before last spring frost. If planting in garden beds, I recommend that you space your plants 12 – 24 inches apart. If you grow broccoli in rows, separate each by 3 feet. Be careful not to overseed as the plant grows rather large and will need room to grow.
TYPES OF BROCCOLI
Here are a few popular types of broccoli
Early varieties typically mature within 50 days. A few days of frost won’t usually kill the plants as they tend to be a bit resilient. Most people focus only of the stocky heads, but the surrounding greens can also be cooked and eaten.
Early varieties include:
Gypsy, Blue Wind, Green Goliath, Broccoli, Di Ciccio Organic
Heat Tolerant Varieties
Early varieties of broccoli will tend to bolt when the weather warms. By using the following heat resistant varieties you will experience less bolting and a longer harvest time.
Popular heat resistant varieties include:
Green Magic, Coronado Crown, Flash
Broccoli roots are very shallow, use newspaper, wood chips or straw at the base of your plants. This will help reduce weed growth and help keep soil temperatures down.
Protect your plants from flea beetles, aphids, downy mildew, cabbage loopers, cabbageworms and whiteflies. Soapy water, organic pesticides and/or concentrated pepper extract can help mitigate pest infestations. I often use blood meal to add nitrogen to broccoli plants. Broccoli plants will typically take 60-75 days to mature.