Growing Broccoli in The Northern Territory
Broccoli is a cool season crop. It loves the cooler dry season weather and is fairly easy to grow. With the right care, you can expect a bountiful harvest. Seeds should be planted in late wet season to make the most of the cool growing season of Top End.
Don’t plant your broccoli too late. You want to make the most of the cooler dry season. Once the weather gets too warm and wet, your broccoli will feel stressed and may bolt to seed or only produce small 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.
Don't let the soil dry out. Broccoli loves water, so be sure to keep the soil moist during the dry months in Top End by watering your broccoli often.
Feed regularly with compost tea, fish emulsion or organic fertilizer.
Mulching helps keep the soil nice and cool. 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.
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.
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