Growing Broccoli in The ACT
Broccoli is a cool season crop. It loves the cool autumn and spring temperatures and can quite easily tolerate the cold winters in ACT. Broccoli is fairly easy to grow and with the right care, you can expect a bountiful harvest.
Don’t plant your broccoli too late. You want to make the most of the temperate autumn and spring weather. If it’s too hot or too cold you won’t get nice big heads.
Broccoli is a heavy feeder, so make sure to prepare your soil with compost and well-rotted manure.
Try to plant bought seedlings as soon as possible after you get them home and remember to give them a good, deep watering to help them settle in. The trick here is to get them in when it’s not too hot or too cold. When you plant your seedlings out, add a small amount organic bone-meal to each hole. Bone-meal gives seedlings a great start and helps them to develop strong root systems to support a healthy plant.
Do not let the soil dry out. Broccoli loves water, so you’ll need to water often during the dry months.
Feed regularly with compost tea, fish emulsion or organic fertilizer. Broccoli is a heavy feeder.
Mulching helps keep the soil nice and cool on warm days and keeps it warm if there’s a sudden cold spell in winter. A good layer of organic mulch like straw or chopped leaves will help keep your broccoli growing happily.
The broccoli is ready to harvest once it forms firm heads. You need to pick it just before the flowers start to open. Cut off the head with a sharp knife. Some varieties form side shoots once the main head is removed. So, leave them in to harvest the smaller side shoots. Once the weather gets really cold, your plants may so down and take much longer to reach a harvestable size. Don't depair, they'll get there!
If you see the eggs or caterpillars appear on the plants, remove them by hand. Spraying with horticultural soap will also be helpful.
Spray with soap spray weekly until the problem is under control. It may be necessary to reapply more often during particularly wet weather.
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