Broccoli is a sun-loving, cool-season crop that is best grown in the chillier weather of spring or fall. .

Broccoli

Broccoli is a hardy vegetable of the cabbage family that is high in vitamins A and D. It develops best during cool seasons of the year.When broccoli plants of most varieties are properly grown and harvested, they can yield over an extended period.New heat tolerant varieties allow broccoli to be produced in all but the hottest parts of the season.Cruiser (58 days to harvest; uniform, high yield; tolerant of dry conditions).For fall crops, buy or grow your own transplants or plant seeds directly in the garden.For fall planting, start seedlings in midsummer for transplanting into the garden in late summer.Plant seeds 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep, or set transplants slightly deeper than they were grown originally.The edible part of broccoli are compact clusters of unopened flower buds and the attached portion of stem.The green buds develop first in one large central head and later in several smaller side shoots.Removing the central head stimulates the side shoots to develop for later pickings.The cabbage looper crawls by doubling up (to form a loop) and then moving the front of its body forward.The larval or worm stages of these insects cause damage by eating holes in the leaves and cabbage head.They are even worse in fall plantings than in spring gardens because the population has had several months to increase.About the time of the first frost in the fall, moth and caterpillar numbers finally begin to decline drastically.Applying a starter fertilizer at transplanting gets the plants off to a good start but cannot correct all the difficulties mentioned.Since broccoli grows best in cool weather, your garden plan should produce a fall and spring harvest.The large central head is the spring harvest and smaller side shoots will be ready in the fall.Store the broccoli, unwashed, in loose or perforated plastic bags in the vegetable crisper of the refrigerator.A member of the cabbage family and a close relative of cauliflower, broccoli packs more nutrients than any other vegetable.Broccoli contains large amounts of vitamin C and beta carotene which are important antioxidants.In the United States, broccoli has become the most favored cruciferous vegetable (cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, and all forms of cabbage).Researchers have concluded that broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables should be included in the diet several times a week.Consuming foods high in antioxidants can reduce the risk of some forms of cancer and heart disease.Steam broccoli for 3-4 minutes or simmer in about one inch of boiling water for the same amount of time or less.Overcooked broccoli turns dark green and suffers nutrient loss, especially vitamin C.Unblanched vegetables contain an active enzyme which causes toughening and severe flavor and nutrient loss during freezing.Select broccoli that has grown under favorable conditions and prepare for freezing as soon after picking as possible.Meanwhile, wash broccoli, trim stalks and cut through florets so that pieces of heads are not more than 1 inch across.Add broccoli to boiling water and immediately cover with a tight fitting lid.Immediately place in the freezer, allowing an inch of space around each container until it is frozen.Remember to always bring water back to a rolling boil before blanching more broccoli.Herbs and spices that enhance the flavor of broccoli include basil, dill, garlic, lemon balm, marjoram, oregano, tarragon and thyme.Wash, trim stems from broccoli and peel, cut into strips the same size as carrots.Add red pepper strips and soy sauce and continue to cook one minute longer. .

How to Plant and Grow Broccoli

Grow broccoli so that it comes to harvest when temperatures average no more than 75°F (23°C) each day.In mild-winter regions, start seeds indoors in late summer and set them in the garden in autumn for winter harvest.Broccoli will bolt and go to seed in warm temperatures or when daylight hours lengthen.Broccoli is frost hardy and can tolerate temperatures as low as 20°F (-6.7°C).Broccoli is a cool-weather crop that must come to harvest before temperatures rise consistently above 75°F (24°C).Start broccoli seed indoors 5 to 6 weeks before the last frost in spring.In mild-winter regions, start seeds indoors in late summer and set them in the garden in autumn for winter harvest.In cold-winter, short-season regions start broccoli in summer for fall harvest.Avoid planting broccoli near pole beans, strawberries, or tomatoes.Grow multiple plants in larger containers set 18 inches (45cm) apart.Broccoli is very sensitive to heat so be sure to move plants into the shade on hot days.Control these pests by handpicking them off of plants or by spraying with Bacillus thuringiensis.Broccoli is susceptible to cabbage family diseases including yellows, clubroot, and downy mildew.Plant disease-resistant varieties, rotate crops each year, and keep the garden free of debris to cut back the incidence of disease.Heads that have begun to open showing small yellow flowers are past the eating stage.Broccoli will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week or frozen after blanching for up to 3 months.Learn to grow 80 tasty vegetables: THE KITCHEN GARDEN GROWERS’ GUIDE. .

Broccoli & Cauliflower: Planting and Growing Tips

If you want vegetables that are loaded with vitamins and nutrients as well as delicious flavors and beautiful, eye-catching colors , look no further than our numerous varieties of Broccoli and Cauliflower !These really are“super-veggies”, packing a healthy punch in every scrumptious bite, offering heavy yields so you'll have plenty of fresh produce for every meal, and proving hardy and versatile enough to satisfy everyone!All Broccoli and Cauliflower are packed with vitamins and nutrients, so when choosing what varieties to grow, you'll base your decision mostly on size and color.Since Cauliflower is more sensitive to cold than its cabbage-family relatives, you need to start it early enough that it has a chance to mature before the heat of the summer.Site them in full sun in a rich, moist, well-drained soil, spacing the young plants 18 to 24 inches apart in rows that are 2½ to 3 feet apart.If your seedlings have been held too long or mistreated in some way before planting, they can create“buttons”, or small heads, that tend to flower prematurely.Climatic elements such as extreme cold and drought can cause your plants to halt their full growth and form only “buttons”.A starter fertilizer applied when you transplant your seedlings will get your Broccoli and Cauliflower off to a good start, but it will not compensate for all the possible problems just mentioned.Removing the central head will stimulate development of the side shoots, which will allow you to continue your harvest for several weeks.Removing the central head will stimulate development of the side shoots, which will allow you to continue your harvest for several weeks.Cauliflower -- the heads (curds) develop quickly under proper conditions, typically growing to 6 to 8 inches within 7 to 12 days after branching begins. .

How to Grow Broccoli

Warm climates may get three harvests of broccoli by planting fast-maturing types in spring, fall, and winter.In regions with spring and fall frosts, time the plantings so you put broccoli plants in the ground in early spring and early fall.If you plant too early in the spring and broccoli plants are exposed to 30-degree nights and 50-degree days, the broccoli may think it's about to die and start prematurely producing tiny florets.How to Plant Broccoli.Space broccoli seedlings 18 to 24 inches apart.Broccoli plants need 1 to 1-1/2 inches of moisture each week.Broccoli. .

Broccoli Grow Guide

Companions Oregano, Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Kale and Crimson Clover.Our Garden Planner can produce a personalized calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.Broccoli that matures in cool fall weather has an especially tender texture with sweet flavor to match.Many varieties produce numerous smaller side shoots after the primary head is cut.Troubleshooting Cabbageworms are small green larvae of the cabbage white butterfly. .

How to grow broccoli / RHS Gardening

After germination, thin out the seedlings, removing the smaller or weaker one to leave one per module.Prepare the ground by adding a high potassium general fertiliser, such as Vitax Q4, at a rate of three handfuls per square metre/yard.Broccoli grows best in fertile, well-drained, moisture-retentive soil, in full sun or very light shade.Cover seed beds and newly transplanted indoor-raised plants with fleece to exclude cabbage root fly.When plants about 20cm (8in) tall, add a high nitrogen fertiliser, such as sulphate of ammonia, at 35g (1oz) per square metre/yard.,.Better heads are produced in cooler summers, as hot weather can encourage plants to go to seed prematurely – some cultivars resist this tendency better than others (see Recommended Varieties below).Birds, especially pigeons, can cause an array of problems including eating seedlings, buds, leaves, fruit and vegetables.Scarecrows and bird-scaring mechanisms work for a while, but the most reliable method of protection is to cover plants with horticultural fleece or mesh.White larvae approximately 5cm (2in) long, feed on the roots just below the soil surface, stunting growth and causing plants to wilt and die.Broccoli is ready to harvest when the heads or spears are well formed but still in bud, before individual flowers begin to open.This recipe for purple sprouting broccoli with anchovy dressing is perfect to serve as a main meal or as a side vegetable dish, and can be eaten all year round.‘Claret’ AGM An extremely vigorous and heavy cropping variety with large tender shoots.These vigorous plants produce high quality spears that are uniform with good flavour. .

6 Tips for Growing Broccoli This Fall

Broccoli that matures during cool weather produces healthy heads that taste sweeter than those you pick at any other time.Broccoli grows best in fall because spring conditions may be unpredictable.If temperatures heat up early in spring, heat-stressed broccoli opens its flower buds prematurely, and high temperatures as broccoli matures can cause bitter, loose heads to form, with smaller and less tasty florets.When to Plant.You can easily calculate the perfect time to plant broccoli seeds this fall.If you're gardening in a raised bed, space your plants 15 to 18 inches apart; for gardening in rows, set the transplants 18 to 24 inches apart within the row and space the rows 24 to 36 inches apart.After you've harvested a plant's central head, you can encourage extended side-shoot production by scratching a little nitrogen-rich fertilizer such as fish meal or aged manure into the soil around its base.Protect Against Pests.Diffley says it's important to harvest broccoli in the morning before the plants heat up, because broccoli has a really high respiration rate. .

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