Broccoli is a cool season vegetable that can be planted in early May in Zones 4-6 and in September and February in Zones 7-10. You can grow broccoli from either seeds or transplants.
How to grow broccoli from seeds:
Broccoli is slow growing, so start it indoors 6 weeks before the final frost of the season. Use a nutrient rich soil and plant seeds ½ an inch deep in your seed starters.
How to care for broccoli seedlings:
Broccoli is such a low key vegetable. You will find that it doesn’t need any fancy care in order to get it growing. Be sure it is getting 6 hours of sunlight a day and is in moist soil. You don’t want to allow the soil to dry out at any point.
Best Tips For Growing Broccoli:
1. Provide ample space
Homegrown broccoli has the possibility of growing larger than the broccoli you see in the grocery store! As a result, you’ll want to make sure you have left your plants enough space to grow and flourish. You should plant each broccoli about 1-2 feet apart from each other. Rows of broccoli should be 2-3 feet apart. If more broccoli seedlings grow in one area than is ideal, feel free to thin them so that the remaining plants are at least 1 foot apart.
2.Watch the temperatures
To grow great broccoli, your plants need to grown in a cooler (not cold) season. If the weather is too hot, the broccoli will flower quickly and you won’t have anything to harvest! So make sure that temperatures stay at around 50-80 degrees.
3.Watch the water
If you hope to grow great broccoli, you’ll have to be careful when watering. Make sure not to get the broccoli heads wet. But don’t let the plants dry out either. Try to keep the soil at the base of your broccoli moist (about 1 inch of water each week should be sufficient). During especially dry seasons, water more to compensate, and make sure that you’re watering deeply so that it’s not just the surface that’s getting wet. You want the water to sink down into the soil.
4. Fertilize your plants
Broccoli plants do very well with nitrogen fertilizers, especially if there’s not a lot of nitrogen already in their soil. You should fertilize the soil when you plant your broccoli, then fertilize again with a liquid fertilizer when the broccoli plants are beginning to grow leaves. It also wouldn’t hurt to add more liquid fertilizer as the heads of broccoli grow.
5.Mulch around your plants
Mulching is very helpful when you’re trying to grow great broccoli! It’s a handy way to keep moisture trapped in the soil, preventing your broccoli from drying out too quickly. Mulch is also helpful at reducing how many weeds will grow, which is great because the less you have to weed, the less likely you’ll accidentally damage your broccoli’s roots!
Your broccoli can possibly be damaged by several different insects including aphids, cabbage worms, flea beetles, and cabbage loopers. To keep your crops safe from these pests, weed frequently, clean out any garden debris, dead plants, or diseased plants, and consider getting row covers.
Health Benefits Of Broccoli
Detoxifies the Body
The presence of vitamin-C, sulfur, and certain amino acids make broccoli a very good detoxifier. It helps remove free radicals and toxins like uric acid from the body, thereby purifying the blood and keeping away toxin-related problems such as bolis, itches, rashes, gout, arthritis, rheumatism, renal calculi, skin diseases like eczema, and hardening of the skin.
Treats Stomach Disorders
Broccoli is very rich in fiber or roughage, the primary dietary ingredient that can cure almost all stomach disorders by curing constipation since that is the root of almost all the stomach disorders. The fiber adds to the bulkiness of the food, retains water and forms healthy bowel movements. The magnesium and vitamins present in it also cure acidity, facilitate proper digestion and absorption of nutrients from the food and soothe the stomach by reducing inflammation.
Zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, vitamin A, phosphorus, and other vitamins such as B complex, C, and E found in broccoli are very good for ocular health. These substances protect eyes against macular degeneration and cataracts, while also repairing the damage caused by radiation.
Prevents Heart Diseases
Apart from the antioxidants mentioned above, broccoli has a very high fiber content, along with significant levels of beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids, and other vitamins that help reduce LDL or bad cholesterol and keep the heart functioning properly by regulating blood-pressure. When you steam it, studies have shown that the fiber components combine better with bile, making it much easier and efficient to excrete. Reducing bile has a strong impact on cholesterol levels, thereby helping your heart health. Furthermore, the potassium found in broccoli is a vasodilator that can boost blood flow and oxygenation of essential organs by relaxing tension and stress of veins and blood vessels.
The substances responsible for the green and purple color of broccoli are vitamin C, beta-carotene, and other vitamins and minerals, particularly selenium, copper, zinc, and phosphorus. These compounds present in it are really great immune system strengtheners that can protect you from numerous infections.
Helps in Pregnancy
Since it is full of nutrients essential for pregnant women, such as proteins, calcium, vitamins, antioxidants, detoxifiers, iron, phosphorus and others, it is an ideal component of any diet for them. Being rich in fiber, it also eliminates constipation, which is very common during pregnancy. Furthermore, the folate content in broccoli ensures that there are no birth defects, such as neural tube defects, which are a major problem for pregnant mothers who have a folic acid deficiency in their diet.
Anemia is directly related to a lack of iron and certain proteins. Broccoli is rich in both of these and hence forms an excellent remedy against anemia. Eat them and feel the blood surge powerfully through your body. Copper is also found in it which is another essential mineral in the production of red blood cells, along with iron.