Broccoli is a vegetable that you either hate or love. Growing up I recall my mom always say “Eat your broccoli, it’s healthy for you” and I used to make all sorts of excuses to avoid eating it. And now my adult version absolutely loves it. I love to cut broccoli florets into small pieces, toss it in a bowl, mix salt and olive oil and bake till it’s crisp enough to suit my palate.
In today’s episode we will walk you through a growing guide for the Broccoli variety called the Green Magic Hybrid variety which is very easy to grow in your home garden and tastes delicious. You can buy seeds on Amazon or starter plants from your local gardening stores like Home Depot or Lowes. If you wish to start your plants from seeds, you will need to sow them and wait for about 6-8 weeks before transplanting. We are growing our broccoli using starter plants that we bought at Lowes and will be transplanting directly into our raised beds. Broccoli is a cool season crop and you can grow them in the fall season which is September through early spring in March. You need to make sure you plant your seedlings in a sunny spot, your plants need about 6 hours of sunlight and the winter sun is not that strong. So, plant in full sun to ensure you get bigger sized heads
You need to prepare the soil well prior to transplanting the seedlings onto raised beds. Broccoli plants are heavy feeders and require nutrients to flourish and produce good sized heads. We used an organic all-purpose fertilizer and added lots of compost to our raised beds for added nourishment. We spaced our plants approximately 6-8 inches apart from each other and planted 9 plants in our raised bed, as pictured. Water your seedlings thoroughly after transplanting, this helps them establish roots easily.
About 45 days since planting you can see that the broccoli florets have emerged and they will keep growing. At this stage they need a lot of nutrients so you can use a liquid fertilizer like fish emulsion, seaweed or worm tea to provide additional nutrients to your plants.
Around 95 days since planting you can see that the plants have become larger and the leaves are big, all the nutrients that you have been feeding your plants is showing effect. You will soon see a firm head popping in the center, this will be the main floret and the biggest floret that your plant will produce. Broccoli leaves are edible as well and they taste like collard/kale.
Around 102 days since planting we are harvesting our first broccoli head. Yay! The main head will be the biggest and once you harvest the main head the plant will still produce side crowns or florets which you can continue to harvest. The broccoli plant continues to produce side florets into late spring until the temperatures are cooler, the plant will start bolting when it’s too hot. You should harvest your head at the correct time when the head is big and firm, if you wait too long the plant will start flowering and the floret will not taste as good.
Around 132 sides since planting and we are still harvesting side heads. We have grown other broccoli varieties like the Sun King Hybrid and the Gypsy Hybrid but the Green Magic Hybrid variety was the most prolific one to grow.
We observed some holes in the leaves and all we did was use our garden hose to spray/wash down the affected leaves/florets where we saw some insects= damage. We did not use any insecticide but if you have lot of plants growing, we will recommend using BT spray which is a beneficial bacteria or Neem oil for damage control.
Here is a video guide on How to Grow Broccoli – Green Magic Hybrid variety in your home garden.