How to Harvest Broccoli Heads from your Garden

How to Harvest Broccoli Heads from your Garden

Broccoli is a cool-season vegetable that you can grow easily in spring or fall. It has large flower heads that are available in a tree-like structure of green color. The flower heads mature quickly and require much care when you start growing from seeds. You can harvest the heads easily when it is firm and tight using gardening tools. Even farmers are much benefited when they grow broccoli in their agricultural land. When you take broccoli content foods in your diet supplies enough nutrients (cholesterol-free) to the body.

Nutritional Information  

Broccolis are naturally cholesterol free. On serving a cup or 100 grams of broccoli contains 34 calories, proteins, carbohydrate, and fats. It is a very good source of dietary fiber, manganese, phosphorus, chlorine, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, niacin, selenium, calcium, and iron that has a positive impact on human health.

How to Harvest Broccoli Heads from your Garden

Companions for Broccoli  

Companion plants are those that help each other when planted together. By placing these plants around you can achieve the best performance with high yield, deters pests by decreasing the amount of pesticide usage. Beets, celery,mint, spinach, cucumbers, nasturtium, lettucedill, garlic, onions, rosemary and potatoes  are the good companions for broccoli. Do not plant broccoli with other brassicas varieties, heavy feeders such as pumpkin, asparagus, watermelons and sweet corn.

Broccoli Varieties

There are many broccoli varieties that can be grown easily in your home. these varieties are classified based on growing conditions, location, harvesting time that has large green stalks and heads.

S. No Variety Harvesting Time Specification
1 Calabrese 60-90 days Dark bluish-green central heads
2 Sprouting 70 -90days Long tender shoots
3 Aspabroc 50-60 days Mild taste with asparagus stem
4 Romanesco 75-100 days Small curves with large spiral head
5 Raab 40-60 days Dark green florets
6 Marathon 68-75 days Medium sized bluish green heads

Growing Broccoli from Seeds

How to Harvest Broccoli Heads from your Garden

To grow broccoli from seeds is easy and requires little maintenance throughout its growing season. The plant can yield up to 2 harvests per year (summer and fall) depending on the time of planting. You just need to choose a garden area with full sun and rich soil.

  • Choose a seed variety to grow in your home by purchasing them from nursery or online store.
  • Select a pot or container of size 6-8 inches. Fill the pot with well-drained fertile soil with pH between 6 and 7. Add mulch to the soil if necessary to improve soil moisture, fertility, reduce weeds surrounding it and keeps soil temperatures cool throughout the warmer months.
  • When planted outdoors sow the seeds (1/2) inch deep spacing should be 12-24 inches within a row.
  • Though broccoli is heavy feeders they can germinate seeds within 10-14 days when the soil temperature is 40 F.
  • Water thoroughly after sowing seeds in pots. You can also use spray bottles to dampen the soil if potted indoors.
  • Place the pot in the sunny location to receive light for a minimum of 6 hours a day though it does well in cool climatic conditions. The Best temperature to grow broccoli is between 40-70 F.
  • When the plant matures and grows to a height of 2 feet tall. Now you can start fertilizing the plants.
  • Fertilize the plant with nitrogen-rich content such as cottonseed meal, compost or manure. You can also use N-P-K (14-14-14) fertilizer, Epsom salt, eggshells and baking soda to enrich the plant growth. These fertilizers or Neem oil, insecticidal soaps, pesticides often used to overcome pests and diseases problem in broccoli.

Nutrient Deficiency

S. No Element Deficiency symptom
1 Nitrogen Slow growth, yellowish green leaves
2 Phosphorus Yellow leaf tips
3 Potassium Dark green leaves, brown edges, older leaves turn yellow
4 Calcium White spots near margins, necrotic leaves
5 Magnesium interveinal chlorosis,  mottled leaves

Pests & Diseases

Pests Diseases
Larvae moths Clubroot
Aphids Powdery mildew
Butterflies Damping off
Cabbage looper moths Leaf spot
Flea bettles Downey mildew
Cutworms White blister

Harvesting

  • It takes 100-150 days time to harvest broccoli from seeds and 50-80 days from the head itself.
  • Harvest broccoli when the buds are firm and tight before the heads flower. For better taste harvest early in the morning.
  • Cut the heads from the plant with 6 inches of the stem and stalk about 5 inches below the head.
  • After harvesting store broccoli in the refrigerator for 5 days and wash it before using in recipes.

Growing Tips

  • Avoid overwatering as it may result in the plant to root rot.
  • Wear gloves, face masks while fertilizing and harvesting broccoli heads.
  • Make sure the pot has enough holes at the bottom for air circulation purpose.
  • Water the plant early morning or late afternoon to prevent from evaporation.
  • Follow instructions & warning labels on seed covers, fertilizers before applying them.
  • When the plant matures to a certain height transplant it to outdoors and fertilizes the plant once in every 3 months with organic matter.
  • Keep children and pets (dogs & cats) away from plants when you use fertilizers for better plant growth.

Broccoli Health Benefits

  Broccolis are safe to eat and side effects are not serious. It mainly causes gas or bowel irritation when consumed in high amounts of fiber in broccoli. On the other side, they have numerous health benefits when consumed in required amounts are listed below…..

Bone health: Low intake of vitamin K has the high risk of bone fracture. Consuming a cup of broccoli on daily basis improves bone health by excretion of calcium from the body. A study shows that dietary fiber plays a major role in regulating the immune system and inflammation in your body.

Cancer: Eating high amounts of vegetables like broccoli helps to lower the risk of lung and colon cancer.It contains a sulfur compound that has bitter taste fights against the cancer cells in the prostate, esophageal and pancreatic cancers.

Digestion: Dietary fiber in broccoli has the ability to prevent constipation and maintain a healthy digestive tract. It promotes regularity which is crucial for detoxifying harmful toxins through bile and stool.

Heart problem: The significant levels of beta-carotene, omega 3 fatty acids helps to reduce bad cholesterol and keep the heart function properly. Reducing bile has a strong impact on cholesterol levels thereby improving your heart health.

Start growing broccoli from seed indoors in a large container that has many health benefits. If you have amazing ideas about growing broccoli in your home, please share your experience with us.

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