Want to know how to grow broccoli? Broccoli is one of those vegetables that does very well in a container or pot.
Broccoli is high in vitamins A and C, and has shown to be a great aid in fighting cancer.
It is the most popular vegetable in the cabbage family, and since it freezes well, you can plant enough to enjoy year-round.
Use a container that is about 12 inches wide and 12 inches deep, with adequate drainage holes on the bottom. You never want the soil to be soggy, as this can lead to rot or mold.
Fill the container with potting soil. Mix compost or fertilizer into the soil for better results.
If you are starting with broccoli seeds, drop a few seeds into half inch deep holes. Some might not take, and the others will be thinned out later.
Ideally, you will want the plants to be 15 to 20 inches apart.
Even if each plant has its own pot, the pots should still be spaced this distance apart, which is why many people consider broccoli a "decorative plant" as well as a nutritious vegetable!
Place your pots where they will not be exposed to too much direct sunlight. Keep the soil moist at all times. Containers dry out quickly, so you should check on your pots at least once a day.
Once the sprouts are about three inches tall, you can move your containers outside. Place them where they will get at least three hours of morning sun every day.
After about two weeks you can transplant them into larger pots if you started off with small containers, otherwise, just leave them where they are.
Transplanting can be stressful for the plant, so be very careful not to disturb the roots.
Broccoli doesn't have to be put outside at all. You can grow it indoors, as long as it has access to some sunlight, especially during the germination stage. Indoors your plants are much less susceptible to pest infestation. But that doesn’t mean there is no risk at all.
Cutworms and similar pests are particularly attracted to broccoli so keep a close eye on your plants. If you see any pests, get rid of them right away.
To discourage cutworms from infesting your broccoli, place a collar around the heads made of wax paper or plastic. Also keep an eye out for cabbage caterpillars, aphids, armyworms, cabbage root maggots, rot, mildew or any other types of fungus.
When there just a few pests, you can simply pick them off and re-locate them to another part of the yard – far away from your broccoli.
Another way to get rid of them is to sprinkle flour on the wet plants. Flour will not harm the broccoli, but it will suffocate the pests. If you see any eggs, pour sour milk on the plants. This will kill the eggs.
You can reduce the risk of pests and disease by using fresh, clean soil every year.
Fertilize your broccoli plants with a mixture of calcium, boron and magnesium, especially during the first few weeks.
Broccoli might be easy to care for, but it is a heavy feeder that will do much better when it is given a lot of nutrition.
Once the plant is well-established, feed it a balanced water-soluble fertilizer about every two weeks. Large broccoli heads need a lot of water to grow, so make sure the soil is always moist, but never soggy.
Broccoli rab is basically baby broccoli flower buds. You can harvest at this stage if you like.
For full-grown broccoli, wait until the heads are about four to six inches in diameter. The small buds will be firm and tight.
Cut the stalk five to ten inches below the head, this will encourage the shoots on the side of the stalk to grow new heads.
Cut your broccoli carefully with a very sharp knife, or garden pruners.
That is how to grow broccoli in a pot or container.
It doesn't take much work and you end up with a nutritious veggie the whole family will love.
Do you have any tips on how to grow plant, grow and harvest asparagus in containers? Please share them by clicking here. Other visitors will thank you.
Follow these links to learn everything you'll need to know to begin growing your own delicious, organic vegetables in containers, right on your patio, balcony, or windowsill!