How to Grow Broccoli at Home – Backyard Broccoli Cultivation

You can either grow your broccoli in your backyard or in pots, provided your containers have at least 45 cm (18 inches) width and height. However, growing fruits and vegetables at home may be risky. Here are some things you need to know. 

  1. Broccoli is considered a cool-season plant. If you grow them in warm areas, you shall know that flower heads will most probably start to bloom. This is, in general, an unpleasant situation, unless you prefer to end up with an ornamental, instead of a green vegetable! Thus, you may not grow them in areas with temperatures over 30 °C (86 °F). If we want to achieve an average yield, our broccolis should mature and be harvested either before or after hot weather and intense heat arrives.
  2. You can plant your broccoli either during autumn or early spring; however, the most common period is autumn, so as to avoid early summers high temperature. To form flowery heads, broccoli needs temperatures close to 15-20°C (59-68°F) and plenty of sunlight. In case it grows under the shade, it delays the formation of flowery heads.
  3. The easiest method to grow broccoli is by transplanting the seedlings you bought from your local nursery. You can consider buying your plants from a legitimate seller to make sure they are disease-free and directly plant them into their final positions. All you have to do before transplanting is to remove any weeds, rocks, or other unwanted materials from the soil. You can plow the soil slightly in order to improve its texture. You can also add some well-rotted manure or compost.
  4. Then, you can transplant your broccoli seedlings directly into the soil, keeping distances of at least 45 cm (18 inches) between plants. It is crucial to plant the seedlings in the same depth as they were in the nursery. After transplanting, you can irrigate immediately.
  5. Alternatively, you may consider starting your crop by sowing the seeds directly into the soil. You can buy your seeds from a legitimate seller to make sure they have good germination and directly sow them in rows with an average distance of 50-80cm (20-31 inches) between them. A good period to start planting in most cases is no later than late summer. Before planting, you have to remove any weeds, rocks, or other unwanted materials from the soil. Then, you can plow it in order to improve its texture. You may also need to add some well-digested manure or compost to increase the soil’s fertility. Then, you may dig small holes and sow 2-3 seeds directly into the ground at a depth of 1 cm. On average, you will need 1-1.5 grams of seed per 10 square meters. Broccoli seeds sprout approximately in 8-10 days. After germination, you will have to thin the plants in case they all have sprouted, keeping only the healthier one in every sowing position. The plants you will finally keep should be at an average distance of 45 cm (18 inches) one from another inside the raw.
  6. In all cases, you may have to observe the crop nearly every day and protect young seedlings from snails.
  7. Broccoli is sensitive to drought, as it decreases the quality of their heads. Thus, you shall provide your plants with sufficient amounts of water. Most backyard farmers irrigate their plants by providing small amounts of water every other day during the first stages. They maintain the soil moist until the seeds sprout and increase the amount ever since. However, during hot days, you may have to water once a day.
  8. As a fertilization method, all you need is some manure or compost. The manure you may have integrated into the soil before planting will most probably be sufficient for the entire growing season.
  9. Harvesting time depends on environmental conditions and broccoli variety. Most broccoli varieties are ready for harvesting 2-3 months (60 to 90 days) after transplanting. The right time to harvest broccoli is when you see heads with compact green color and an average diameter of 9 cm (3.5 inches), depending on the variety. We generally cut them together with a 10cm stem and leaves. 
  10. Cauliflower produces just one large head. On the other hand, broccoli produces central head and side shoots. Thus, broccoli allows for multiple harvesting sessions and constant supply. In order to promote the growth of a second head after the first has been harvested, you can continue to irrigate and add small doses of liquid fertilizer. 

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Wikifarmer Editorial Team
Wikifarmer Editorial Team

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