Broccoli is a type of cabbage and one of the vegetables with higher nutritional value. It contains a high content of vitamin C and a great diversity of nutrients, all of them with anti-cancer properties. Likewise, it can be an excellent aid to prevent and improve other conditions, such as high blood pressure, vision problems, and infections. When to plant broccoli?
Due to its large amount of nutrients – folic acid, beta carotene, iron, potassium and vitamin E, to name just a few – experts recommend including it in your weekly diet. In addition, it is rich in fiber, which helps improve digestion and its caloric value is considerably low, just 35 kcal per 100 grams. For this and much more, it is considered one of the most important vegetables for humans.
When to plant broccoli?
To grow broccoli effectively, the following factors must be considered:
As we have already mentioned, broccoli is a plant from cool to cold climates, so if you live in a warm climate, it may be convenient for you to sow the shoots in autumn, to avoid that the inflorescences coincide with very hot times or with great frosts. Broccoli can germinate even at temperatures as low as 4ºC. Large-headed broccoli varieties do not thrive in hot climates due to insect pests. Instead, the variety of outbreaks is more resistant but can also be affected by certain pests such as caterpillars and flies white.
Keep in mind that if you live in a warm climate, it is best to plant your broccoli sprouts in the fall. Varieties such as Calabrian broccoli. From Cicco. Purple broccoli. The buds are better suited to moderately temperate climates, so many of these varieties grow well in the fall. Its shoots are leafy in appearance and tiny heads. They take between 65 and 90 days to mature. They can also be sown in spring.
Did you know… Its characteristic and intense smell is because it is rich in sulfur nutrients. If you are interested in growing purple broccoli, consider that this variety germinates best if planted in the spring, just after the last frost. Now, if you live in a cold climate and want to grow broccoli quickly, you can grow any variety of Broccoli Raab: Rapini. Sorrento Zamboni. This variety requires a shorter maturation time: between 40 and 55 days if it is planted in spring and between 50 and 75 days if planted in autumn. If you plan to plant outdoors, try to keep the soil cool. You can make use of compost bins, as well as leaves and bark, to achieve this. On the other hand, if the climate is warm to cold, you can put a plastic cover to keep the soil at a good temperature.
Important: Remember that broccoli prefers direct sun when it has grown. However, when the plant is still small, it prefers shade. For this reason, it is advisable to find a well-lit area of the garden and, as far as possible, with moderate shade.
Irrigation of Broccoli
To sow broccoli effectively, constant humidity is required in the soil, so you should try to make regular and abundant waterings without flooding the soil. Broccoli likes very wet soil but with good drainage.
Recommendations regarding irrigation
Water your plants regularly, but be sure not to get the growing heads wet when you do so, as mold can develop. The ideal, in those cases, will be to install a drip irrigation system. If the weather conditions are hot or very dry, you can increase the amount of water. Before sowing, make sure the soil is not only fertile but has good drainage. If your garden tends to flood, you can build a planter to raise the soil above ground level. We also explain how to organize your garden.
Finally, the effective cultivation of broccoli requires soft, well-fertilized soils, fresh and with regular humidity. It is important to consider that broccoli adapts better to neutral soils and does not support limestone soils. A substrate is recommended that allows the retention of humidity, but that at the same time facilitates the good drainage of the earth to avoid puddles. To achieve this, sawdust or small stones can be added to the substrate to give it good drainage. To keep the soil well-nourished, a good amount of compost is recommended, especially with the first sprouts. Did you know… The heaviest broccoli on record was grown in England in 1964. It weighed 13.11 kilos!
Recommendations regarding fertilizer
The mulch should be maintained throughout the growing process, as it helps regulate temperature and humidity. Being a plant with vertical stems and shallow roots can be sown in a pot or direct soil. The pot should be at least 50cm deep, with enough holes to facilitate drainage. In the same way, the wider, the better, since broccoli grows in the shape of a bush and its highest part is greater. Sowing in direct soil is the most recommended option due to space. Keep in mind that some varieties require a lot of room to grow. In general, the recommended distance between each plant is between 40 and 60cm apart. If you have a lot of space to grow, you can choose a large head variety, such as Arcadia Belstar Munchkin. These varieties are the most common, taking 50-70 days to mature if planted in the spring and 65-90 days to mature if planted in the fall.
The broccoli seeds are round, colored dark red or gray. They have an approximate diameter of 1 mm. They are very easy to get. To make sure they are in good condition, check that there are no stains on their surface.
Check the pH of the soil. If the level is less than 6.0 you must add an acid compound. If it is above 7.0, add granular sulfur.
Where to grow broccoli?
Preferably outdoors. With direct sun and moderate shade. When the shoots do not reach 10cm in height, it is necessary to protect them from direct light. If you plan to plant outdoors, try to keep the soil always cool. If the weather is rather cold, you can put a plastic cover to keep the soil at a good temperature. If you plant in a pot, make sure it is at least 50cm deep and has a good number of holes for easy water drainage. Also, the wider, the better. Keep it in a sunny room.