Before planting broccolis in our yard, it is important to have an idea of how you will reap after harvest. This will help you implement specific planting and growth strategies.
Broccoli heads refer to the big leafy portion of this vegetable at the end of the stalk, and if it’s your first time growing this plant, you’re probably asking, “does a broccoli plant produce more than one head?”
This article explores the planting and growth of broccolis. We also explain how to store and care for this vegetable properly.
Do Broccoli Plants Produce More Than One Head?
Most broccoli grows with just one head; in some cases, you may observe little heads growing at the sides. You should know that the size and number of broccoli heads depend on your growing variety.
The first variety is the large head variety. It produces broccolis with a large head that is made of various florets. You also have the sprouting variety, a bundle of various small heads.
The Romanesco variety has heads that are whirled with a pointed tip. And the last variety is the broccoli raab which grows immature buds but produces a stronger flavor than regular broccoli.
How To Plant Broccoli
Broccoli can be planted earlier than most vegetables, early to mid-spring, but for summer growth or early summer. This all depends on your region’s climate and how it affects every other factor.
This vegetable is best planted indoors and then transplanted to your garden at the seedling stage (after 4 to 6 weeks). However, direct planting is also possible.
The transplants should be spaced between 12 and 20 inches from each other, and their planting depth should be deeper than their containers. If you have a decent size of broccoli farm, the rows should be spaced at least 3 feet apart.
Growing Requirements For Broccolis
To have healthy broccolis with the desired head, you need to provide an adequate growing environment for this plant. Here are some conditions to consider when growing broccoli.
The best time to grow broccoli is during early or mid-spring. This is because this vegetable requires enough water to grow, but this factor depends on your region’s climate.
If you get less rainfall, you must water this plant yourself. The required amount of water in this condition should be about 1.5 inches weekly.
2. Sunlight And Heat
Broccoli will thrive under partial shade if you live in a region where the sunlight is intense. But if the heat in your region is considerable, you can expose them to full sunlight for proper growth.
The ideal temperature for this plant to grow well should be between 16 and 18°C (60-70°F). This temperature can be determined using a soil thermometer. You can mulch around the plant if the soil temperature seems to be high.
Soil pH is the level of acidity or alkalinity of the soil. Broccoli does well in slightly acidic or neutral soil, and the pH number should be between (6.0 to 7.5). If your soil is not acidic enough, you can use some lime to alter the pH.
Broccoli grows immensely on soil rich in organic matter and other nutrients. That said, you must feed this plant a lot of nitrogen.
You can also choose manure and other forms of compost over inorganic fertilizers, as they are also rich in nutrients. Low-nitrogen fertilizer should be used during the first three weeks of planting.
How To Harvest Broccoli
The first thing you will need to know about harvesting broccolis is when they are ready to be harvested. When your broccoli head is deep green, it is a sign that it is ready. For other signs, you will need to look out for the size of the head and ensure that they don’t increase.
The flowers of this plant are yellow and immediately start to unfold; harvest your broccoli; leaving it any longer could make it bitter.
Harvesting should be done in the morning, and you should use a short knife for this process. Your broccoli head should be cut at least 5 inches below the stem. The cut should also be made quickly, as slowly cutting through the stem may prevent the side shoots from developing.
Another important piece of information to note is that the cut should be made slanty to allow any liquid to flow down the stem; this is because when water is allowed to pool on the exposed stem, it can cause rotting.
How To Store Broccoli
Short-term storage of broccoli can range from 1-2 weeks, and they should be kept in the refrigerator at a temperature of 40°F. Ensure that your broccoli is thoroughly washed before storing it in your fridge.
If you have a ton of broccoli and are aiming for long-term storage, you will need to blanch and freeze them. This method can preserve broccoli for up to a year. Follow these steps to store your broccoli for a long time.
- Wash and cut your broccoli into pieces
- Prepare a bowl of ice-cold water
- Put the broccoli into boiling water and allow to cook for about 2 minutes
- Strain the broccoli and immediately put it in cold water. This step should be as long as the boiling time (2 minutes)
- Strain the broccolis and pack them into airtight containers or plastic bags.
- After this, you can freeze them for as long as you want
Planting and growing broccolis are not difficult; you only need to know the basic information we have covered in this article.
Knowing the variety of broccoli you are growing tells you the size and number of heads you should be expecting, and sprouting broccolis is the only variety that produces more than one head.
This article also covers how to properly harvest and store broccolis and the conditions suitable for this vegetable to grow properly.
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We trust this article helped you learn If Broccoli Plants Produce More Than One Head. You may also want to check How To Plant Garlic Heads.
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