If you're itching for some home-grown veggies, growing broccoli -- or its cousins broccoli rabe or cauliflower -- can be just the antidote.
- Step 1: Harvest your broccoli when the buds are firm. This can be anywhere from 60 to 100 days. Cut the stalks about five to 10 inches from the heads.
- Step 2: Wash your broccoli thoroughly and check for pests. Then sink your teeth into your homegrown, healthy, and delicious snack.
- FACT: Scientists suspect that the broccoli component indole-3-carbinol, also known as I3C, may stop the growth of breast cancer and prostate cancer cells.
- Step 3: Water the broccoli often, keeping the soil moist but not drenched. As the crowns begin to form, water more often.
- TIP: If pests like cutworms are a problem, wrap the stems with wax paper or if slugs are your irritant, a small amount of lime or wood ash will keep them away.
- TIP: If starting from seeds is intimidating, purchase sprouts than can be planted directly into the ground at your local garden store.
- Step 4: Keep the plants watered and, if they're indoors, make put them where they'll get plenty of sunlight to ensure healthy plants.
- Step 5: Transplant your seedlings into the ground in a sunny area approximately 18 inches apart with the rows being anywhere from 30 to 36 inches apart. This can be done until mid to late June or when the soil temperature is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit for a continuous harvest.
- Step 6: Fill the container with soil and plant the broccoli seeds about 1/4- to 1/2-inch deep and at least ½-inch apart, approximately six to eight weeks before transplanting them outdoors.