By Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden
The Sun King broccoli plant provides the biggest heads and is certainly among the top producers of broccoli crops. A more heat tolerant broccoli, you can harvest when the heads are ready, even during the heat of summer, if you must. Click here to learn more.
By Mary Ellen Ellis
Heirloom vegetable varieties give home gardeners many options, more so than the average grocery store offers. If you enjoy growing broccoli, give Di Ciccio broccoli a try. This tasty Italian heirloom produces a continuous harvest. To learn more, click here.
By Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer
Destiny hybrid broccoli is a compact, heat-tolerant, and cold-hardy plant that performs well in warmer climates. This flavorful vegetable isn’t difficult to grow given the right conditions. For more information on Destiny broccoli growing, click here.
By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist
Broccoli is a classic vegetable that offers plenty of nutrition and fits into many international cuisines. Belstar broccoli is a variety with tight heads and prolific flowering. Click the following article for more information about the delicious Belstar broccoli variety.
By Amy Grant
Broccoli is a cool season annual grown for its delicious green heads. Waltham 29 broccoli has long been a favorite variety. Seeds are open pollinated and sought after for their incredible flavor and cold tolerance. To learn about growing this broccoli variety, click here.
By Tonya Barnett, (Author of FRESHCUTKY)
Different cultivars, each with different days to maturity, can easily prolong the harvest period of certain crops. Experimenting with different types of broccoli, for example, is just one way to make the most of your growing space throughout the year. Learn more here.
By Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden
If your weather is unpredictable and you sometimes have frost and hot temperatures in the same week, you might’ve just thrown up your hands when it comes to planting broccoli. But wait, Green Goliath broccoli plants may be just what you’re looking for. Learn more here.
By Amy Grant
Almost all plants benefit from companion planting and using companion plants for broccoli is no exception. So what should you plant next to broccoli? Find out about the benefits of broccoli companion plants and which plants are suitable here.
By Amy Grant
Broccoli has a number of insects that enjoy the tasty head and is also susceptible to a number of diseases, but one of its major issues is broccoli that won?t head. Why is broccoli not producing heads and is there a remedy for this? Find out here.
By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist
Brassica romanesco is a fun vegetable in the same family as cauliflower and cabbage. Planting romanesco broccoli is a great way of providing variety in your family's diet. Learn more about this veggie here.
By Heather Rhoades
Growing and harvesting broccoli is one of the more rewarding moments in the vegetable garden. You may be asking yourself when to pick broccoli. What are the signs that broccoli is ready to harvest? Click here for info.
By Laura Miller
Broccoli is a nutrient-rich vegetable which can be used in a variety of ways. Additionally, growing broccoli is not difficult as long as you follow a few simple broccoli growing tips. This article can help get you started with planting broccoli in your garden.
By Heather Rhoades
Broccoli is a cold weather crop, meaning that it will bolt or go to flower if it's too warm. To get tips for preventing bolting in broccoli plants and how to grow the crop in hot weather, read this article.
If you grow your tomatoes or other crops in the same garden bed year after year, you will notice an increase in pests and diseases. Break the cycle! Take a moment to learn about the basics of crop rotation. Your plants will thank you with a bigger, healthier harvest.
In the mad rush to get the garden planted in the spring, we forget all about something as important as crop rotation to help avoid disease. In the example of tomatoes: Simply move the tomato plants to a bed where the squashes grew last year. That will confuse those hornworms!
The concept of crop rotation is: Avoid planting the exact same vegetables in the exact same spot every year to avoid having pests and diseases in the soil build up. If you move the crop, the problem has no host on which to live. Ideally, rotate a vegetable (or vegetable family) so it grows in a particular place once out of every 3 to 4 yearas.
For example, if you planted tomatoes in the same bed year after year, they’re more likely to be hit by the same pests or diseases that affected your tomato crop last year. So you’d want to plant them in a different bed in year two. And in that first bed, you’d plant a different sort of crop such as carrots, broccoli, or chard.The purpose of crop rotation is not only to avoid pest problems but also consider the soil and the nutrients that different plants need from the soil.
Photo by John Braid/Shutterstock
The key to successful crop rotation is “all in the family.” Even though tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and potatoes look nothing alike, they are kissing cousins in the same botanical family, the nightshades.
Here are the major family groupings:
There are many more families but some have only one member that we would grow in a home vegetable garden, like corn, okra, or sweet potatoes. I love the fact that sweet potatoes are in a family all their own making them an easy fit to grow where every other family has been lately. In a small garden, you can group some families together like putting brassicas with legumes and lettuce to make rotations easier.
There are exceptions to crop rotation. For example, mint spreads easily and it’s often best contained to one bed.
Lessen Disease and Insect Problems.
Each family often suffers from the same pests and diseases. Crop rotation is where we grow vegetables from each major plant family in different areas each year.
Soil borne diseases which can build up after years of growing the same plants in the same place. It might not cure all your disease problems but it can make a dent. As for insects, it can make it harder for overwintering pests to find their first meal.
Get to the root of crop rotation.
Plants with different root lengths benefit your soil structure. Deeply rooted crops such as tomatoes, carrots, or beets break up the soil creating channels for air and water as they seek out minerals in the subsoil, bringing them up closer to the surface where other plants can use them next year.
Alternative Heavy and Light Feeders
Look at alternating heavy feeders with light feeders to reduce demands on your soil.
Depending on the size of your garden you can plan rotations that cover 3, 4, 5, 6 or more years, with 3 years being the minimum recommended.
The best way to rotate annual vegetables is to group them by their plant family because they are susceptible to the same pests and disease, and also have similar maintenance requirements together. For instance, all plants in the cabbage family are best grown together to make it easier to net them against cabbage white butterfly and birds—and there’s no risk of accidentally passing on crop-specific soil-dwelling pests and diseases to the next crop.
A handy way to set crop order is to give each plant family a shade relating to the colors of the rainbow, as shown below. Using this order of rotation is optional, but it helps to make sure that the soil is in the correct condition for the following crop.
Rotating small gardens can be more challenging, given lack of space, but it’s still important. See our Four-Bed Crop Rotation Plan for Small Gardens.
Crop rotation is not as complicated as it sounds. But don’t rely on memory, particularly if you are growing different amounts of a variety of crops.
Just roughly sketch your garden and write down what you have planted where by plant family. (It can also be helpful to keep a list of the variety name.)
This is where online Garden Planner really comes into its own. Rather than having to remember a complete planning history of which vegetables were grown where over the past 3 to 5 years, and which family each vegetable belongs to, the tool just takes care of that for you.
Each plant icon is color-coded similar to the chart above so you can quickly see at a glance which family it belongs to. When you plan a new season, it remembers what you have planted before and shows a red warning signal if you should avoid planting a vegetable in the area.
Try out the Vegetable Garden Planner (for PC & Mac). It’s free for 7 days so you can understand its amazing benefits.
Bottom-line: The simplest rule is to grow your crops in different areas. Crop rotation is the best preventative medicine you can gvie to your garden.
A simple garden plan will be your best friend next year when it comes time to decide where those tomatoes should go.
When your refrigerator’s crisper is empty, don’t forgo your healthy lifestyle for the salt and carbs in the pantry. Walk outside and snip a stalk of broccoli (Brassica oleracea) that can be cleaned and chopped or steamed for dinner within minutes. Calabrese broccoli is also known as Italian green and is the most-common variety of broccoli in the United States. Its signature main head is surrounded by several side shoots that resemble a very compact, green flower. A cool-season vegetable, calabrese broccoli is a fine fall and winter planting project that yields delicious results.
Clear a sunny spot for the broccoli to grow and if you planted broccoli the prior year, choose a different spot in your garden as it should not be grown in the same place less than every four years. Because broccoli begins to bolt – or flower – in hot weather, seeds should be planted about 85 to 100 days before your typical first frost for winter broccoli or two to three weeks before your last frost for spring broccoli.
Till the area for planting with a garden shovel or tiller. If you use a shovel, insert the spade fully into the earth to remove the soil and turn it over. Continue this process until the soil is loose and free from heavy clods.
Layer compost mixed with soil across the top of the native soil until the layer is about 2 to 4 inches thick. Till the soils together until they are combined and the ideal planting medium is ready for the seeds. When working with any soil amendments or compost, wear gloves to protect your hands.
Insert a chopstick or your finger into the soil about 1/2 inch deep every 2 to 4 inches apart. If you are planning to have several rows of broccoli, they should be about 18 to 24 inches apart.
Place one seed in each hole and cover with a thin layer of soil, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.
Water the seeds with a watering can or a sprayer on gentle pressure so you don’t disturb the seeds.
Water the plants every four to seven days, depending on rainfall, as roccoli prefers moist soil. Avoid watering the heads once they form.
Mulch around the new plants to retain soil moisture and to keep the earth cool.
Spread row covers above the broccoli plants. Brassica are sensitive to pests, so the cover may be placed directly on top of the plants, or the ends can be staked and the edges held down with soil.
Cut calabrese broccoli from the stem when the heads are dark green, compact and about 5 to 6 inches in diameter, which is about 60 to 90 days from planting. Smaller heads around the central head can be harvested for several weeks following the main harvest.
Start in early spring to grow your own produce. Call your local county extension office or garden center to find out your area's average last spring frost date. You may leave part of the garden unplanted so it's ready for warm weather veggies later.
Early Spring: Plant 4 weeks before the last frost date. Sow seeds for early-spring vegetables directly into the soil. We recommend you plant a few transplants for an earlier harvest. When planting seeds, sow them more thickly than recommended use scissors when plants are a couple of inches tall to thin plants to the recommended number.
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Preventing a Sweetgum Tree From Making BallsSweetgum trees are a fall beauty with their variegated colorful leaves. However, for many homeowner's this display does not make up for the deluge of spiny seed pods that litter their yard. This is a page about preventing a sweetgum tree from making balls.
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Plants That Like Coffee GroundsMany plants thrive in soil rich in nitrogen. As they decompose, coffee grounds release nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, and other minerals. This is a page about plants that like coffee grounds.
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Hypertufa Craft ProjectsThis is a page about hypertufa craft projects. This simple mixture of Portland cement with substances like perlite and peat moss makes porous artificial stone pots, planters, or garden art in any shape or size you can imagine.
Using Coffee Grounds for Citrus Trees?Citrus trees grow well when fed with used coffee grounds. Care should be taken as it is possible to make the soil too acidic and that might cause issues. Citrus grows best at a soil pH of 6.5.
Rooting a Cactus PadThis is a page about rooting a cactus pad. Many types of cactus propagate in nature by their ability to have a pad or segment grow into a new plant. You can do this too, at home, and increase your cactus garden plantings.
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Getting Rid of Weeds in RocksWhether it's for a walkway or simply decorative, a rock area can easily become overrun with weeds. Eliminating those weeds can be a real chore. This is a page about getting rid of weeds in rocks.
Selling BambooThis is a page about selling bamboo. Bamboo is an evergreen tropical or temperate grass that grows easily and spreads quickly making it a good choice to grow as a money making enterprise. There are many products made from bamboo.
Getting Rid of Tree Roots Under a House Foundation?This page is about getting rid of tree roots under a house foundation. Tree roots can cause extensive damage if allowed to grow under a structure.
How to Kill a Passionfruit Vine?We have a tiny backyard and decided to grow a passionfruit vine on a arch. It grew like wild fire and everyday for the last 3 years I have pulled out passionfruit suckers from our garden. It has taken over a third of our garden and we set fire to the vine on the arch and pulled out the root. That was a month ago and we have more suckers than ever. My husband put weed killer directly onto each sucker but more are coming everyday. Please help we are desperate. We live in Australia with hot weather and we never once fed or tended this plant. Melinda from Australia
What Are Hedge Apples Good For?This is a page about what hedge apples are good for. The hedge apple or Osage orange may look like an orange but it is actually a member of the mulberry family. While many people claim that they are a good natural pest repellent, it is only in concentrated amounts that it is effective. It is generally not eaten by people or wildlife.
Filler Ideas for Potted PlantsThere are a lot of things you can use to fill under the soil in your potted plants. Some of them will help reduce the weight of large pots, others help retain moisture. This is a page about filler ides for potted plants.
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Fast Growing Evergreen TreesNot all evergreen trees fit into the category of fast growing. This page offers some good choices for this type of tree. This is a page about fast growing evergreen trees.
Planting a Rose of Sharon Near HouseThis is a page about planting a rose of Sharon near house. When choosing to plant your new shrub near the house there are a number of things to consider, such as mature height and width.
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Making a Compost BinThis is a page about making a compost bin. You can easily and inexpensively make your own backyard compost bin, it need not be an expensive commercial model.
Starting Roses from CuttingsIf you find a rose that you want to propagate, doing it from a cutting is the best way. Roses generally grow well from cuttings, but doing it right will give you the best results. This is a page about starting roses from cuttings.
Starting a Crape Myrtle from a CuttingCrape myrtles can successfully be started from both hard and soft wood cuttings. This is a page about starting a crape myrtle from a cutting.
Sap Dripping From a Tree?Sap can begin dripping from a tree for a number of reasons, including bug infestations. To stop the flow you will need to determine the cause. This is a page about sap dripping from a tree.
Avocado Trees Losing Leaves?There are a number of reasons your avocado tree may lose its leaves, from pests to lack of nutrients. This is a page about avocado trees losing leaves.
Using Greywater in the GardenGreywater is domestic waste water from activities such as laundry, dishwashing, and bathing. Unlike sewage water (which is referred to as blackwater), greywater can be safely recycled for use in the landscape without the use of any special treatment systems.
Repotting OrchidsThis is a page to repotting orchids. Orchids require a lot of care and attention, but the gorgeous blooms are worth the effort. Repotting orchids is a necessary maintenance task to keep those lovely flowers blooming.
Getting Hibiscus Flowers to BloomThis is a page about getting hibiscus flowers to bloom. Hibiscus is a beautiful tropical plant that with proper care can bloom year round.
Fixing Grass Damaged By Dog Pee?This is a page about fixing grass damaged by dog pee. Excessive dog urine can cause brown spots on your lawn.
Getting Rid of Blackberry BushesThis is a page about getting rid of blackberry bushes. Blackberry bushes can grow very quickly in spring and summer and are very invasive. Even though the berries are edible and tasty, the bushes are very difficult to get rid of.
Starting a Hibiscus from a CuttingHibiscus plants are relatively easy to start from cuttings, if you follow a few simple steps. This is a page about starting a hibiscus from a cutting.
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Growing a "Tractor Seat Plant" (Ligularia)?This Australian native is also known as the tractor seat plant, Ligularia is grown for its attractive foliage. This page contains information about growing a "tractor seat plant" (Ligularia).
Sources of Free Pavers or Stone?Does anyone know where I can pick up free pavers or stone?
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Gardening on SlopesThis page is about gardening on slopes. Planting on an incline requires some planning to make sure your plants will thrive.