Broccoli is a wonderful addition to the garden, delicious steamed, grilled, in a stir-fry or added raw to a salad (wonderful with walnuts). Here is everything you need to know how to grow broccoli.
Broccoli loves the cold/winter season.
It needs good drainage and plenty of sunlight, although late-maturing varieties may prefer some shade to protect them from sudden heat in late spring. The harvest period can be extended by planting a few different varieties that mature at different times. This cool-weather crop can be sown during Winter for temperate and warmer climates. For cold, mountain areas plant in early spring to early summer.
Soil preparation for Broccoli
Broccoli and Broccolini grow fast, requiring to be planted in soil full of rich compost to keep their growth rate. Prepare your veggie patch with 5 IN 1 Organic Fertiliser before planting your seedlings. This fertiliser provides plenty of composted manures rich in minerals and nutrients for fast growth. Prepare the soil to a depth of at least 30cm, digging in plenty of 5 IN 1 Organic Fertiliser or Searles Premium Organic Compost. Sweeten with garden lime if your soil is acidic (how to use a soil ph test kit). Sprinkle Searles Penetraide ReWetting Granules, water well, mulch and leave for 2 weeks. If planting seed, draw a drill and plant 6mm deep, about 50cm apart in groups of three. Thin out the two weakest seedlings later. Each seedling should have a central bud or growing tip — discard any without. Keep broccoli moist and weed-free.
Like most vegetables, Broccoli requires regular watering to facilitate their fast growth rate and encourage compact heads to form. Ideally water daily or every second day.
To give Broccoli plants an extra boost leading up to and including the formation of heads, liquid fertilise with 5 IN 1 Organic Liquid Fertiliser every fortnight.
Harvest when the heads are still green and compact (they’re too old once they turn yellowish with flowers starting to open). To harvest, cut off the head along with about 10cm of stalk and a few leaves. Two smaller, but more tender heads will grow in its place. Tip: Harvest when the head is still tight and compact. Removing this central head will encourage smaller side shoots to form, and then they’ll be ready for a second picking in a few weeks time.
Broccoli loves to be saddled with beans, beetroot, celery, lettuce, peas and potato.
Broccoli Pests & Diseases
Remove cabbage white caterpillar and spray aphids with Searles Bug Beater.
Shopping List for Growing Broccoli