Beautiful Broccoli

Monday, 03 August 2020

Back at the beginning of Lockdown, like many of you, we started down the road of sowing seeds. Now, a few months on, we are seeing the fruits (and veg!) of our labour. As well as our usual fare, Lulu decided to give broccoli a bash this year. Here’s Lulu’s guide to how to grow broccoli…

Our homegrown broccoli and potatoes get a big thumbs up from Lulu!
Our homegrown broccoli and potatoes get a big thumbs up from Lulu!

Sow your broccoli seeds

First up, get something to sow your seeds into. We used a seed tray with cover to help the seeds grow quicker but you can choose anything you have (butter tub, drinks bottle, yoghurt pot etc) as long as it has drainage holes.

Carefully sow seeds in a tray, ideally with seed compost
Carefully sow seeds in a tray, ideally with seed compost

Help your seedlings grow

Keep your seedlings in a bright area, not in direct sunlight. Keep the soil moist but not too wet or your seeds will rot. If the seedlings start to lean towards the light keep turning the tray to make them stand upright (or find a brighter spot where they will grow upright).

Keep turning your seedlings to help them grow straighter
Keep turning your seedlings to help them grow straighter

Pot on your seedlings

Once your seedlings have grown a bit bigger they will need to be potted on to their own pots. Be really careful with those fragile roots and stems. Continue to give them water and light so they can go stronger.

Very carefully pot on your broccoli seedlings into their own pots so they will have space to flourish.
Very carefully pot on your broccoli seedlings into their own pots so they will have space to flourish.

Harden off your seedlings

As your seedlings grow in their own pots they will be ready to be “hardened off”. This is getting them used to being outdoors after having been cosy indoors for so long. Take them outside during the day and take them inside at night. If you have one, you will then be able to keep them in a cold frame outdoors, closing it at night to keep them safe from any frosts.

Harden off your broccoli seedlings in a cold frame or by simply potting the pots outside during the day and bringing them in at night til all risk of frosts have passed.
Harden off your broccoli seedlings in a cold frame or by simply potting the pots outside during the day and bringing them in at night til all risk of frosts have passed.

Get ready to plant out

Before you plant your precious broccoli seedlings outside you need to make sure that you have a healthy plant with a good set of leaves and strong roots; make sure it has been suitably hardened off; make sure all risk of frost has passed; that you have a suitable place to plant it.

You want to have healthy hardened off plants before you plant them outside.
You want to have healthy hardened off plants before you plant them outside.

Make your marker

Knowing what’s where in your garden is always important. You can of course just use an old lolly stick or a plant marker. With lots of time on our hands during lockdown we made beautiful pebble markers. If you want to know how to make your own click here.

Make a broccoli pebble marker
Make a broccoli pebble marker

Plant out your seedlings

It’s time to be brave! If you have a strong plant that is used to being outside and the risk of frost has passed (normally May in Scotland) you can make the leap to planting your brocolli in your veg patch. Brassicas really need to be covered though to protect them from pigeons and the cabbage white butterfly (its caterpillars will decimate your crop!) We made a frame which was covered in netting but you could simply net over the top of them to keep them protected.

Be brave, plant out your seedlings but remember to cover them with netting.
Be brave, plant out your seedlings but remember to cover them with netting.

Harvest your crop

Keep an eye on your crop as they grow. We didn’t feed ours as we had plenty of nutrients in our soil but you may need to add a feed. Keep them well watered (Mother Nature did a good job of watering ours!) You will see the florets growing up from the centre of the plant. When they get to a good size cut off a floret and enjoy!

Our amazing first floret - isn't she a beauty! And the broccoli too!
Our amazing first floret – isn’t she a beauty! And the broccoli too!

Enjoy growing and eating your own broccoli – good luck!

Vialii

Share the love...Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Pin on Pinterest
Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Email this to someone
email

Enjoyed reading this blog? Try these posts...