The broccoli plant, also called asparagus (Brassica oleracea = Brassica sylvestris), is a variety of the well-known cabbage. This vegetable crop is an annual and a member of the cabbage family. Unlike other subspecies, in which edible are considered leaf plates, in broccoli eat unopened inflorescences. Cauliflower and broccoli are considered very close relatives. More specifically, broccoli is the genetic predecessor of cauliflower.
The cauliflower is a hybrid that was born in the 6th-5th century B.C. in the northeastern region of the Mediterranean. For many centuries, the plant was cultivated only in what is now Italy. The word broccolo in Italian translates as "cauliflower" (brocco - sprout).
The French "General History of Plants" contains the earliest mention of this hybrid, and dates it to 1587. Broccoli arrived in England in the early 18th century, at which time it was known as Italian asparagus. In the same century, broccoli began to grow on the territory of America, but great popularity among the local population, this culture at that time has not gained much. Only relatively recently in the 20th century did commercial production of asparagus appear in California, since that time the U.S.
is considered the most important producer of broccoli. Countries such as China, India, Israel, Turkey, Spain, France and Italy are not too far behind.
Properties of broccoli
Broccoli looks a lot like cauliflower, but its inflorescences are colored green instead of creamy. In its first year of growth, the asparagus stalk grows to a height of 0.6-0.
9 meters, many succulent flower stalks form on top of it, and they are crowned with green-colored buds that are gathered in tight groups. And these in turn are part of a relatively small loose head. This head is eaten before the flowers form. The plant with yellowed buds is not used in food. When the head is cut off, new inflorescences form from lateral buds.
This makes the broccoli fruiting last for several months. Asparagus is now as popular with gardeners as beets, red and white cabbage, carrots, and other vegetable crops most commonly grown in mid-latitude gardens.
How to grow broccoli in the garden: secrets of success
Growing broccoli from seed
What time to sow
Sow broccoli seedlings in the spring, and more specifically from early to mid March. The seeds may be sown in several stages, if desired, in succession, every 15 days until the second half of June. However, from the last days of April, the seeds are already sown into the open soil.
If the summer period in the region is relatively short and cool enough, it is recommended to grow early- and medium-maturing varieties of broccoli. If you choose a late-ripening variety, the plants might not mature in time.
Growing broccoli seedlings
Before you start sowing, you should sort the seeds. To do this, select the largest seeds, then soak them for 15 to 20 minutes in very warm (about 50 degrees) water. After the seeds are taken out of the hot water, they should immediately be placed in cold water.
After that the seeds should be soaked in a solution of Epin, in which they need to stay for 12-15 hours. Then the seeds should be well washed under running water and then placed on the refrigerator shelf for 24 hours and dried until loose. A good drainage layer should be placed at the bottom of it. The substrate should be permeable and friable as well as slightly alkaline or neutral. It should include sand, humus, sod soil and wood ash.
To begin with the soil mixture must be well moistened, after which shallow (10-15 mm) furrows should be made on its surface, and the distance between them should be 30 mm. After the seeds will be distributed in the furrows, they need to be embedded, and then the substrate is slightly tamped.
The seedlings of this crop are grown in exactly the same way as white cabbage seedlings. The seedlings should be kept in a relatively warm place (about 20 degrees) until the seedlings appear. After the seedlings appear, the boxes should be moved to a cooler place (about 10 degrees) for 7 days.
Then the seedlings will need the following temperature regime: on a cloudy day - 14 degrees, on a nice day - 16 degrees, and at night - 9 degrees. Broccoli seedlings need high humidity, and you should take into account that the soil mixture should always be a little damp. But do not over water, because prolonged water stagnation in the substrate leads to the development of black leg, which can kill most of the plants.
How to sow broccoli cabbage correctly. Helpful hints.
After 15 days have passed since the seedlings appeared, you should resort to picking them. Individual peat pots should be used for the transplanting, and these will then be used for planting the plants in the open soil. For a few days after picking, the plants should be protected from direct sunlight by covering them with paper sheets, and the temperature in the room should be about 21 degrees. After the seedlings will take root, they need fertilizer, which must contain boron and molybdenum. During the day the seedlings should be at a temperature of about 17 degrees, and at night - 9 degrees.
You should start hardening the seedlings 15 days before transplanting them into the open soil.
Broccoli planting in the open field
What time to plant
The asparagus seedlings are planted at the age of 35-45 days, at this time the plants should already have 5 or 6 true leaf plates formed. Generally, planting is carried out in the middle of May. However, if the soil has not yet warmed up well or there is a threat of a return spring frost, experienced gardeners recommend postponing planting until later. It is best to plant broccoli in an area where carrots, grains, potatoes, sideras, onions, cucumbers, and legumes were previously grown.
Plots previously growing cabbage, radish, turnips, beets, tomatoes, or radishes should not be planted before four years.
The soil should be slightly alkaline (pH 6.7-7.4) or neutral. The soil should be prepared in the autumn by digging it over with compost or manure (4 to 5 kg per square meter of soil).
Acidic soil can be corrected by adding lime.
How to plant broccoli in open soil
Rules for planting in open soil
To plant in the open soil, a 35x60 centimeters grid is recommended on a cloudy day or in the evening. In each of the prepared planting holes, 5 to 10 grams of full mineral fertilizer should be applied and thoroughly mixed with the soil. Then a plant is placed in the hole and filled with soil, which should be well tamped. Once planted, they should be well watered.
If there is a risk of frost during the night, it is best to cover it with cling film as it will kill the plants if the temperature goes down to minus 2 degrees below zero.
Broccoli can not only be cultivated as seedlings, the seeds can also be sown into open soil. This should only be done after the return spring frosts have passed, usually in the first half of May. Prepare the seedlings before sowing them outdoors in the same way as before sowing them for seedlings (see above). Emerging seedlings need to be thinned, in this case you will be able to increase the feeding area of seedlings.
To avoid thinning out, sow the seeds in a 30x50 centimeter pattern.
Maintenance for broccoli
Growing broccoli is as easy as cultivating cauliflower. The plant needs timely watering, weeding, feeding, and loosening of the soil surface.
Three weeks after transplanting the seedlings into the open soil, and then another 1.5 weeks later, the bushes should be gently dug in, and the soil in the root zone should be loosened well.
When growing asparagus sprouts it should be taken into account that in the early stages of development, it can be severely damaged by direct sunlight, to avoid this, the bushes should be covered with unnecessary buckets or lapnik. On hot days water broccoli must be absolutely necessary, in addition you should regularly moisten the air around the bushes and the more often you do this, the better for the plant.
In the root zone loosen the soil to a depth of 80 millimeters. Experienced vegetable gardeners recommend loosening and weeding the broccoli patch one day after the bushes have been watered.
How to water
On average, you should water the asparagus sprouts once every 7 days.
However, if the temperature outside is above 25 degrees, you should water more frequently, and consider that it should be systematic and sufficient. At the same time, the soil on the plot should not become a liquid mud. Also, do not forget to spray the leaves frequently and remember to do this in the evening.
Fertilize regularly so that this type of cabbage develops and grows properly. The first feeding should be done half a month after transplanting the seedlings into the open soil, using a solution of cowpea (1 tbsp of organic material per 10 litres of water).
In the resulting nutrient mixture should be poured 1 tsp. of urea. Cow dung, if desired, can be replaced with a solution of chicken manure (1:20). If the seeds were sown in open soil, the first time you can feed broccoli will be only 20 days after the emergence of seedlings. After 15-20 days after the first feeding, the plants are fed again and for this use a solution of nitrate (1 matchbox of the substance per 10 liters of water).
In the last summer weeks asparagus does not need a lot of nitrogen, but at this time its need for phosphorus and potassium increases. The third time this culture is fertilized with the following nutrient mixture: 20 grams of ammonium nitrate, 40 grams of superphosphate, and 10 grams of potassium sulfate per bucket of water is taken. When the central head will be cut, bushes should be fertilized, in order to enhance the growth of lateral shoots, for this use the following composition: 1 bucket of water takes 20 grams of superphosphate, 10 grams of ammonium nitrate and 30 grams of potassium sulfate. For 1 bush, 1 liter of nutrient mixture is taken. For fertilizing, you can still use wood ash, it is distributed over the surface of the plot, with 1 tbsp.
of fertilizer taken per 1 square meter.
Growing broccoli in the suburbs
Many gardeners wonder if the broccoli varieties that are successfully cultivated in regions with a warm climate will grow in areas where the summer period is relatively short and quite cool? The fact is that this plant is highly frost-resistant, so it grows very well in regions with cool and cold climates. It is cultivated not only in the Moscow region, but also in the Urals, as well as in the territory of Siberia. And for sure to grow broccoli successfully, out of more than 200 varieties of asparagus, you should choose those hybrids and forms that are particularly hardy.
Broccoli pests and diseases
Broccoli should be prepared to deal with pests, and you should be aware that this crop is not particularly resistant to them.
Cruciferous fly bugs, moths, moths, aphids, cabbage flies, slugs and snails may infest this plant.
Aphids are considered a fairly common pest that can settle on almost any plant and ruin it. Colonies of this pest settle on the leaf blades, shoots, and inflorescences of the plant, releasing a waxy substance on their surface. The leaf leaves become discolored, turning light pink, and then the aphids curl up. Such a pest reproduces extremely quickly, so that in one season it is capable of producing about 16 generations, and all of these individuals will cause tangible damage to the plant day and night.
The adult cabbage fly poses little danger to broccoli, but its larvae do not. They harm all members of the cabbage family, but also rutabagas, radishes and turnips. They can settle both on very young bushes and adult specimens. The larvae get to the root system of the bush and nibble it, then they gnaw many passages in the bush shoots.
Crop flea and its larvae gnaw holes in the bush shoots, causing it to wither up and die.
In addition to broccoli, this pest can settle on watercress, turnips, horseradish and daikon.
The cabbage moth (cabbage moth) makes egg-layers on the leaves of this cabbage. Caterpillars emerge from the eggs, nibbling at the edges of the leaves most often.
The cabbage moth is a nocturnal moth, its caterpillars harming most cabbage species as well as lettuce, onions and peas.
Snails and slugs
Snails and slugs gnaw small plants completely, while in larger specimens they gnaw rather large holes in the leaf plates.
🥦 Controlling broccoli cabbage pests with traditional means. What to treat broccoli cabbage with.
If aphids have settled on the broccoli bush, you can destroy them in various ways. So, if there are few pests, you can try to crush them right on the plant. If there are a lot of aphids, the affected shrub is recommended to treat with such folk remedies as ash and soap solution or infusion of potato haulm.
If these treatments are not effective, insecticides such as Aktellik or Iskra-bio can be used, but the instructions for spraying the bush must be followed. To get rid of cabbage flies, it is necessary to treat bushes with a solution of the drug Rovicurt or Ambush (1%), and you can also use products such as Anomurin or Corsar. To banish cruciferous flea from the bushes, celandine or tansy powder should be evenly distributed on the soil surface between the rows. If there are too many pests, then the bushes will need to be sprayed with a solution of Foxima or Actellic (1%). To get rid of moths and cabbage moths, you can use preparations such as Belofos, Anometrin, Foxim, Ambush, Talcord, Rovikurt and others of similar action, and during the treatment it is necessary to follow the instructions enclosed with the product.
To eliminate gastropods, it is recommended to make grooves around the perimeter of the bed, and their bottom should be covered with tobacco dust, wood ash, lime or ground bitter pepper. Neither slugs nor snails can get over such grooves.
In addition to these pests, asparagus sprouts are less often infested by such insects as: babanukha, wavy and black fleas, pest longhorn, cabbage moth, cabbage firefly, cabbage and rapeseed bugs, root and rapeseed spiderworms, common moth, common, winter and gamma moths, rapeseed flower beetle, tobacco thrips and the dark snapper. The use of biological or chemical means of pest control is recommended only if there are a lot of insects, and there is a threat of losing most of the crop. Is it possible to grow such a cabbage without the use of harmful drugs and at the same time to protect it from pests? The most important thing is to adhere to the rules of agrotechnics of this culture, also plants should be properly cared for, namely: before sowing it is necessary to treat the seed and soil, it is necessary to remove weeds from the plot in time, in autumn it is necessary to dig over the bed, previously removing all plant residues from it.
Cultivating asparagus in open soil, it can be affected by diseases such as blackleg, callus, alternariosis, blemish, white and dry rot, peronosporosis, mosaic, vascular bacteriosis and fusariosis.
Blackleg is most often affected by seedlings of this plant. The affected seedlings show softening of the neck and, as a result, it turns black. Then there is a thinning and lodging of the stem. As a preventive measure, do not forget to thin the seedlings, and also make sure that the substrate is not overwatered.
Affected seedlings should be plucked out, and those that remain should be irrigated with a weak solution of manganese potassium pink (3-4 grams of the substance per 1 bucket of water). After such treatment, the seedlings are not watered for 7 days. Healthy seedlings can be prevented by treatment with Fitosporin, Bactophyte, Fitolavin-300 or Planriz.
If the bush is infested with kila, globular or oval-shaped growths appear on its surface, eventually turning brown and beginning to rot. Diseased shrubs wither and look underdeveloped.
Affected specimens cannot be saved, so they must be ripped out and burned. To prevent kilas, it is advisable to plant chard, spinach, onion, garlic, or beet in an area where asparagus sprouts were grown, and these crops will clear the soil of kilas in a couple of years, while plants like eggplant, physalis, potato, tomato, or pepper will do the job in 3 years.
If a specimen is affected, it shows a coating on its leaves, seedpods, pedicels, and shoots that resembles oil paint spots. Over time, the affected parts turn brown and dry out, with swollen and warped leaf laminae. Infested plants cannot be cured, so they must be dug up and destroyed.
Those plants that remain should be sprayed with a solution containing copper. To prevent the disease, crop rotation rules should be followed, and the weeds should be removed in time.
Anternariosis infects plants that form brown necrotic spots on their parts above the ground. As the disease progresses, they increase in size and turn into brown concentric spots with fungal spores on the surface. The carriers of this disease are harmful insects.
Before you start sowing, to prevent this disease, be sure to warm the seeds by placing them in hot water for a third of an hour (described in more detail above). Do not neglect the good agricultural practices of this plant; remove weeds in good time, and in the fall be sure to clear the area of plant debris.
If the shrub is infected with false powdery mildew (Peronosporosis), it will show light yellow spots on the leaf plates, with a white stain on the underside. For preventive purposes, do not forget about the presowing preparation of seeds. Diseased seedlings should be pollinated 3 times at intervals of 7 days with ground sulfur, wood ash or a mixture of lime and sulfur.
If the plant is very heavily infested you should use Topaz solution (1 ampoule of Topaz per 1 bucket of water).
Broccoli can be affected by white rot and either have shoots rotting or develop a spider web on the underside of the leaves. Often, shrubs grown in acidic soil that contains a lot of nitrogen are affected, and the plants are infected in cool weather. To cure the affected specimens, they should be treated with copper-containing agents. As a preventive measure, crop rotation should be followed, acidic soil should be limeed in time, weed grass and plant debris should be removed from the bed in time.
If the bush is infected with dry rot, light-colored spots with black dots form on the leaf plates, the bush growth slows down, stem tissue breaks down and dry spots appear on the stems as well. Dry rot is treated in the same way as false powdery mildew.
In the beginning of mosaic infestation, poorly visible spots are formed in the interstitial area. Over time, deformation of the foliage is observed, with dark green fringing and pale necrotic spots appearing on its surface. Today, viral diseases are considered incurable, so all affected specimens should be dug out and destroyed.
For preventive purposes, it is necessary to remove weeds from the site in time, and also make sure that there are no aphids or other pests on bushes, which are carriers of pathogens of this viral disease.
When the plant is affected by vascular bacteriosis, the edge of the leaf plates turns yellow and eventually becomes parchment-like to the touch, with the veins darkening. As the disease progresses, the infected parts of the bush die off. Diseased copies should be sprayed with biological means, such as: Trichodermin or Planriz (follow the instructions enclosed with the drug). To prevent this, remember to warm the seeds before sowing, remember the rules of crop rotation and also remove any plant debris from the area in the autumn.
If broccoli is infected with tracheomycosis (fusarium wilt) the leaf plates turn green-yellow (often on one side only). Leaves look sluggish, their development is uneven, its deformation and fall are observed. To combat this disease, fungicides from the benzimidazole group are used. For preventive purposes, the rules of broccoli farming should be followed, the affected bushes should be dug out and burned as soon as possible.
If the asparagus plants are not cared for properly, the chances that they will fall ill or be damaged by pests are greatly increased.
If, however, the plants are well taken care of and strong, they will have a very high resistance to both diseases and pests.
Broccoli types and varieties
If you compare cauliflower and broccoli, the latter has several advantages. Hence, broccoli:
- is very hardy;
- is fairly resistant to pests;
- high yielding and regrowth ability;
- has very good growing conditions;
- juvenile shoots (up to 15mm long) are considered edible.
There are 2 varieties of this cabbage: The familiar Calabrese form has dense inflorescences and a pretty thick stem and the Italian form (asparagus broccoli) has a lot of shoots with comparatively small heads-flowers.
There are about 200 kinds of this plant.
All varieties can be early maturing, medium maturing or late maturing. Those varieties that are most popular with gardeners will be described below.
- Tonus. This variety is among the highest yielding and tastiest varieties. Maturation time is 70-90 days.
The dark green large head is medium dense and weighs about 200 grams. When the central inflorescence is cut, the lateral shoots, which weigh 50 to 70 grams, will begin to grow vigorously.
- Broccoli F1. This medium-yielding hybrid has a large, medium-density head that is colored malachite green. This plant is used for eating fresh and also processed.
- Linda. The bush has a medium height. The ripening time is 95 days. On average, the central head weighs about 0.3-0.
4 kg and the weight of the lateral offspring is 70 grams. This variety is eaten fresh and is also used for freezing and canning.
- Vitaminnaya. The ripening time for this variety is 72-90 days. The dense central head is dark green in color and weighs 130-250 grams.
When the central head is cut, it will take 10-15 days for the lateral inflorescences to reach 40-50mm across.
- Curly Head342>. This variety is resistant to many diseases as well as to adverse weather conditions. Ripening time is 80 to 95 days. The dense, green-colored central head weighs an average of 0.
6 kg. When the main head is cut, a large number of lateral inflorescences begin to actively grow.
Besides these early maturing varieties, Summer King, Comanche, Green Sprouting, Vyarus, and hybrids such as: Emperor, Corvet, Laser, Tribute and Fiesta are often grown.
Middle maturing varieties
- Senshi. This strong-growing variety ripens within 110 days.
The firm, large head has a dark green color and a dome shape. This variety is suitable for long storage.
- Compacta. The ripening time of this variety is about 100 days. The compact bush has a dark green dome-shaped main head.
This variety is suitable for dense planting.
- Калабрезе. The ripening time is 90 days. The dark green, medium density heads weigh about 0.4 kg.
The side inflorescences weigh about 100 grams and grow 6 or 7 of them.
- Greenia. This variety has a very high yield. The rosette consisting of leaf plates is about 0.6 m high, and the main head weighs about 300 grams.
- Atlantic. The stem reaches a height of 0.5-0.6 m. The large heads are quite dense, with a basic weight of about 0.
Also quite popular with gardeners are such varieties and hybrids of medium maturity as Arcadia, Balboa, Genoa, Greenbelt, Gnome, Green Favorit, Monton, Fortuna and Caesar.
Best late maturing varieties
- Hybrid Lucky. The main head is dense and large, weighing about 500 g. It has a delicate texture and green coloration.
- MonterreyHybrid. Distinguished by its high yield. The weight of the central head is about 0.5 kg. The peculiarity of this hybrid is that it does not grow side inflorescences.
- Continental. The main head is large and dense, weighing about 0.5 kg.
- Hybrid Marathon. The leaf rosette in this variety is raised, the green dense main head has a delicate texture and weighs about 0.
First cut of broccoli cabbage of the variety BARO STAR F1(6.07. 2017)
Broccoli properties: harms and benefits
Broccoli health benefits
Broccoli was considered the queen of cabbage already in ancient Roman times because it is a possessor of healing properties. This plant contains B vitamins, vitamins E, A, PP, K, C and U.
Oranges and lemons have less vitamin C than broccoli, but it has almost as much vitamin U as as asparagus and is known to heal ulcers. This plant also contains the following micro- and macronutrients: potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, manganese, phosphorus, iron, zinc, selenium and copper, it is rich in beta-carotene, chlorophyll, fiber, amino acids, protein containing isoleucine and lysine. It also contains methionine and choline, which prevent the accumulation of cholesterol in the human body. These vitamins and elements are necessary for normal functioning of the human body, and in asparagus cabbage they are in a easily digestible form for the body.
This plant is very useful for people suffering from diabetes, because it helps normalize insulin in the body and protect the vascular walls from the damage that occurs due to high blood sugar.
People who live in regions with high radiation backgrounds, as well as those who have suffered from radiation, experts recommend systematically eating asparagus cabbage, because it is able to clean the body of free radicals, toxins and ions of heavy metals. This plant also eliminates the swelling that accompanies cellulite, so if you eat it regularly, over time the skin will become firmer and smoother.
Scientists have recently conducted studies which found that asparagus sprouts contain sulforaphane, which inhibits the development of cancer cells and is very effective in treating the following diseases: breast, bladder, skin, ovarian and prostate cancer. But note that this substance is part of the stems and shoots of such a plant, and there is none in the inflorescences. People who ate broccoli about twice a day were noted to have tumor growth stopped.
Broccoli sprouts - health and harm
Broccoli sprouts are not suitable for cooking vegetable stock because guanine and adenine are released during boiling, which can be harmful to the human body. Another thing to keep in mind is that during long boiling or baking in the microwave, most of the useful substances included in this plant are destroyed. Frying broccoli in large quantities of oil or fat leads to the formation of carcinogens, and the product loses all of its healthy properties, and can cause harm to humans.
To benefit from asparagus, one must eat it fresh or learn to cook it correctly. Please note that pancreatic disorders and hyperacidity of the stomach should not be eaten with this type of cabbage.
Post-operative patients should treat broccoli with great caution, as it contains coarse fiber, and it is very heavy for a weakened body.
Broccoli recipes for health
Broccoli recipes that help to improve the body:
- Casserole. Put 200 grams of asparagus sprouts in salted boiling water, after 2 minutes, put them in a colander and dry them. It is necessary to cut 200 grams of ham in julienne strips. Whites of chicken eggs and 100 grams of cream should be well beaten.
Pour cabbage in a greased form, lay the ham on top of it and pour the egg white and salt to taste. Sprinkle the mixture with shredded greens (you can take any type) and 100 grams of grated cheese. Bake in oven at 180 degrees.
- Soup. Wash 0.
4 kg of broccoli and then separate the heads into small florets. It should be boiled for 2 to 3 minutes in salted boiling water, in which you can put your favorite spices. For a third of an hour, 30 grams of almonds should be poured in just boiling water. After the skins are removed from it, it is chopped in a blender. Mix the cabbage with the almonds and in portions pour into the mixture the broth that remained after boiling the broccoli.
The mass should be chopped to a puree-like consistency. Pour into the soup puree 1 tsp. vegetable oil, as well as 10 grams of walnut oil. Pour the soup into a bowl and sprinkle the sesame seeds on top.
Cauliflower !!!The secret of a good harvest!!!