How To Grow Broccoli and Lettuce in Kitchen Gardens
Broccoli in Kitchen Garden
With the introduction of the new hybrid varieties of cabbage, cauliflower, carrot etc, its cultivation has now become possible in all countries . These vegetables are all grown in winter seasons. Broccoli and Lettuce which are also usually grown in winter seasons can now be grown easily in kitchen gardens. Let’s come to know more about these plants.
Broccoli, also known as sprouting broccoli belongs to the cabbage family. The big flower (head) that forms in this plant is eatable. Though it has similarities with cauliflower, is easier than growing cauliflower and its flower is usually green in color. The flower is completely covered with leaves.
This vegetable is very costly. Each of the broccoli varieties available are very tasty and bountiful crops can be produces even by novice gardeners. It is usually used in salads, soups, curries and Chinese dishes. This vegetable that has great nutritional content contains huge amounts of anti oxidants capable enough to resist cancer. It will also help strength the immune system and can also help to protect from heart diseases
Where to Grow Broccoli?
Broccoli is usually cultivated in plain areas during the winter season. For best results broccoli should be grown in the spring or fall. High temperature is not suitable for this plant and the soil temperature should range between 60-70 degree Fahrenheit.
The seeds are grown in thavaranas (a chamber used to bud the young sapling) and then the seedlings are transferred to the garden
. It should be done in early winter so that the head is formed on them by the end of winter season. I.e. at least six weeks before your last spring frost.
But for a fall harvest it should be done 12 – 14 weeks before your first fall frost.
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How to Grow broccoli?
- The seedlings should be planted in fertile and well drained trenches at a distance of 45 x 45 c.m.
- The plant beds should be loosened well and bio fertilizers should be used to get a good yield.
- The beds should be watered well before the seedlings are planted in to them.
- Broccoli is a heavy feeder and the soil pH should be between 6-7.
- Harvesting can be done from 50-60 days from the time of planting them into the trenches.
When to Harvest Broccoli?
When the first flower starts showing a yellow color make sure that it is ready to be harvested.
The florets around the edges of the head start showing a slight loosening though the beads are still tight at this time.
Instead of waiting the broccoli to produce large heads, start harvesting when they reach a medium size or the buds will be opened.
The stems should be cut at an angle with about 4" of stalk so that the cut stem doesn’t rotten.
Even after harvesting the plants should be watered well because some varieties produce second heads.
Though the second head formed will be smaller in size than the initial head, continuous harvesting will help them to produce more heads.
How to Store Broccoli?
The cut heads of Broccoli should be refrigerated immediately for later use.
If you want it to be stored for a longer period steam-blanch it before freezing.
Seeds can be harvested when the lean pods dry and the seeds inside are dark black or brown in color.
Perfect and large seeds must be used for planting.
These seeds can be stored in a cool, dry and dark place for about 3-5 years. You can buy Broccoli seeds online too
Vegetable & Fruit Gardening : How to Grow Broccoli
How to Grow Lettuce ?
Lettuce is a leafy vegetable belonging to the Austrasia family. Different varieties of them in different colors and shapes are now available. The plant attains a peculiar shape since a leaves are former collectively on a small stem. The amount of calorie is very less in this leafy vegetable. Its cultivation is also suitable to be done in winter season.
Growing lettuce is very easy as it requires only a very small area and it can be grown along with the flowers in your garden easily.
- You can grow lettuce with some other taller vegetables like tomato in a single container or pot.
- It grows faster in full sun and allows the lettuce plant to grow in an area where it receives direct sunlight for about 4 to 6 hours a day.
- The lettuce seeds require cool soil and light to germinate faster. The seedlings should be replanted at a distance of 45 x 30 c.m.
- They adapt well to their spacing providing with larger plants. Well-drained, moist soil with plenty of rich organic matter is best for the growth of lettuce plants.
- The soil pH should be between 6 and 7. It should be fertilized well through out the growing period to get tender new leaves quickly.
- The lettuce plants should be watered regularly. Soil can be kept cool and moist by mulching. Mulching also prevents weeds.
How to Grow Lettuce
How to Harvest Lettuce?
Lettuce becomes ready to be harvested within 30-60 days. A continuous supply from the lettuce plant can be obtained if the leaves are harvested from the outside of the plant. Freshly harvested lettuce during the winter season is found to be sweeter, crisper and tastier. The central bud if left as such, grow more leaves. Some types of lettuces are also found to flower later.
Soak fresh lettuce immediately in ice water for about five minutes and then drain it. Then put it in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator
Lettuce and Broccoli
Lettuce and Broccoli which were usually cultivated in cold places and high ranges can now be easily grown in the plain surfaces easily during the winter season. It’s advisable to grow these vegetables from their seeds as more varieties would be available. Since the seeds are cheaply available, they can be planted in different beds so that they are available in almost all time. Much care is not required for their growth but the harvesting should be done in the proper time to enjoy their full taste.
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