Sowing Broccoli Seeds - How to Make Sow Your Broccoli at Home
There is a rich history surrounding the cauliflower flower. It has been used by Romans, Egyptians, Greeks and Irish to make clothing and food. These days, the flower is starting to make its way back into the kitchen.
Growing cauliflower from broccoli leaves requires very little care, other than being sure that you allow the plants to grow up to their potential. For large Calabrese blooms, sow from late spring to mid summer for maximum harvesting in late summer to fall. For direct sowing, sow from April to June. Take care not to try to bare root transplant when transplanting, the young leaves are susceptible to bolt if too much pressure is applied.
The best time for Calabrese is late summer through early autumn for optimal harvests. The plants will be just starting to sprout with leaves and can be found throughout the garden with little stalks to the outside. Allow your Calabrese plants to bloom as far as possible in the hottest times of the growing season. Avoid trying to harvest at night when nighttime temperatures dip below freezing. If nighttime temperatures are consistently below freezing for more than five nights, the plants will likely flower prematurely, allowing them to sprout less than they would otherwise.
After the flowers start to bloom the next step is to harvest them. Use a pair of shears to trim off any excess leaves from the large calabrese heads. Harvest the heads carefully, since the small calabrese petals are very delicate and hard to cut. Remove the green stems on a cutting so the broccoli will stay on top of the bedding.
If you plan to use a trellis to support the Calabrese, make sure it has a support for at least one inch in diameter. The large shoots of the cabbage plant can break off during the summer heat and float to the base of the trellis. In order to encourage the growth of strong shoots, apply some fertilizer when the shoots have grown about an inch tall. This will provide a strong base on which the shoots can grow taller.
Once the broccoli has flowered there is no need to fertilize. The plants will naturally provide their own nutrients. However, you may want to add a slow release fertilizer at least quarterly during the spring after the growing season has ended. The main crop of the year is the cauliflower leaves. Remove the green leaves from the stems and discard them. If you have had the plants for a few years and you haven't bothered to clip their leaves, consider yourself very lucky because these are the most fragile of the bulbs and can quickly break off if mishandled.
If you are a beginner and the plants look close to extinction, there are a few tricks to get them back in tip top shape. There are two different kinds of bulbs with different planting methods. Most of the early season Calabares are known as seed savers. They come with tightly packed, short stem cells that do not open up until the late season or when they are plucked from the plant. These are the best bulbs to sow seeds in.
If you are planning to go with the calabare type for sowing broccoli seeds you should take into consideration that they are more sensitive to cold weather than other bulbs and tend to die out more quickly in harsh climates. If you live in an area that tends to have colder winters, you should consider using the standard bulbs. For those that are used more often in warmer climates direct sowing seeds is recommended. Direct sowing means that the plant is planted directly onto the grass in rows rather than being put into containers.