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Broccoli is a delicious and nutritious vegetable that is part of the cabbage family. It has a large flowering head that is rich in vitamins and minerals, making it a popular choice for a healthy diet. Broccoli is low in calories and high in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and other nutrients that promote good health.
Botanical name: Brassica oleracea var. italica
Plant morphology: Broccoli is an annual plant that grows up to 2-3 feet tall. It has thick stems and large, dark green leaves that form a rosette at the base. The edible part of the plant is the flower head, which is a large, green, tree-like structure with tightly clustered buds.
Soil and Climatic requirement: Broccoli grows best in well-drained, fertile soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. It requires full sun exposure and a cool climate to develop properly. Broccoli can be grown in the spring or fall, but it is sensitive to extreme heat and cold.
Crop Duration: 60-100 days
Cropping season: Winter (October to February) and Summer (March to June)
Planting type: Direct sowing or transplanting
Spacing: Broccoli plants should be spaced 18-24 inches apart in rows that are 24-36 inches apart.
Depth of sowing: 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep
Germination period: 7-10 days
Hours of sunlight required: Broccoli requires full sun exposure (at least 6 hours per day) to grow and develop properly.
Watering: Broccoli requires regular watering to maintain soil moisture, but it is sensitive to overwatering. Water deeply once or twice a week, depending on the weather and soil conditions.
Companion crops: Broccoli grows well with other cool-season crops, such as cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.
Seeds Treatment: Broccoli seeds do not require any special treatment before planting.
Harvesting: Broccoli should be harvested when the flower heads are firm and tight, before they begin to turn yellow or open up. Cut the central head first, and then allow the smaller side shoots to grow and produce more flowers.
Problems of Broccoli cultivation:
Pests: Common pests that affect broccoli include aphids, cabbage worms, flea beetles, and slugs.
Diseases: Broccoli is susceptible to various diseases, including downy mildew, clubroot, and black rot.