“Broccoli” has become a far more important crop of late due to its reported health benefits. Broccoli is also much easier to grow than before. The best months for growing broccoli in South Africa is February, March and April.
“Broccoli” is worth growing for its nutritional content alone. The crop is rich in vitamins and minerals. It is a good source of Vitamin A, Potassium, Folid Acid, Iron and Fiber.
* Broccoli requires a site with exposure to full sun – (6-8 hours per day).
* Plant in a bed of moist, fertile soil that drains well.
* Soil pH should be slightly acidic, between 6.0 and 7.0
* Outdoors – sow seeds 1/2 inch deep and 3 inches apart.
* Indoors – plant transplants that are 4-6 weeks old, outdoors 12 – 20 inches apart. Plant in holes slightly deeper than their container depth.
* Space rows of broccoli should be 3 feet apart.
* Water well at the time of planting.
Broccoli grown from seed will come to harvest in 100 – 150 days. Grown from transplants broccoli will come to harvest in 55 to 80 days. Cut buds when they are still green and tight. Cut the central head with 5 to 6 inches of stem. Leave the base of the plant and some outer leaves to encourage new heads on secondary shoots.
In general, broccoli plants can be harvested two or three times and for a period up to 3 months. Broccoli should be harvested when the heads are small, tight and firm. If flower buds appear, it should be cut immediately.
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