Broccoli from Seed -
Site and Soil
Broccoli is not too choosy about the site and soil. It prefers to be in full sun,
but will tolerate partial shade with no problems.
The ideal soil is a reasonably heavy (not pure clay) which is rich in
nutrients and has been well-dug. A light soil can be improved by the addition of
nutrients provided by a a general fertiliser and bonemeal. Adding
bonemeal to a heavier soil which is not too rich in nutrients will also
be of benefit.
with all vegetables avoid low lying areas which may become water-logged.
This is especially important for broccoli varieties which will stay in
the ground over winter. Do not plant broccoli on a site which has been
used for brassicas (cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, turnip,
kohlrabi) in the last two years because this will increase the chances
of getting club root and cabbage root fly.
Broccoli from Seed - How, when and where
The time of sowing broccoli with no protection depends on the variety, so read the seed-packet instructions
carefully. The following are the general rule:
(green broccoli) - sow outside in
early May, under cover three weeks earlier.
Early Purple and White varieties - sow in
Late Purple and White varieties - sow in
Sow the seed about 7cm (3in) apart in lines which are 60cm (2 foot) apart.
Cover the seeds with 1.5cm (half inch) of crumbly soil and water
well. The seeds should germinate in 10 days or so. When the
seedlings appear, thin them to 22cm (9 in) apart.
Calabrese does not transplant well at all, so do not grow them in a seed bed and
transplant. If they cannot be grown in-situ, grow them individually in
pots and plant them with the least possible disturbance of the root
system. Broccoli, on the other hand transplants well and can be grown in
a seed bed and transplanted to their final growing position.
If you want broccoli or calabrese crops three or four
weeks earlier, use a small poly-tunnel or cloche. Simply place the
poly-tunnel in position two weeks before sowing (to warm up the soil),
then sow the seed three or four weeks earlier than normal.
to buy a poly-tunnel or cloche from GardenAction's preferred online supplier.
Broccoli form Seed - Ongoing Care
Calabrese and broccoli are easy to care for. When the seedlings have six or so leaves,
give them a handful of Growmore per square yard. water it in well if
rain is not likely in 24 hours.
In dry weather, keep them well-watered, especially if the soil is sandy.
Watering is especially important when the heads are forming. A layer of
garden compost around the plants (not touching them though) will work
wonders. Aside from this, and keeping the weeds at bay, they will look after themselves.
Where you have no garden compost, covering the
surrounding soil with a weed control fabric will do exactly the same job
and will last for many years.
to buy your weed control fabric online.
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