- 1 Broccoli Farming – Detailed Informations & Guide
- 2 Most Productive Broccoli Varieties for Commercial Farming
- 3 Where Does Broccoli Grow?
- 4 How to Grow Broccoli Vegetables?
- 5 Irrigation in Broccoli Farming
- 6 Manures and Fertilizers in Broccoli Farming
- 7 Pests and Diseases in Broccoli Farming
- 8 Harvesting in Broccoli Farming
Broccoli Farming – Detailed Informations & Guide
Little About Growing Broccoli
Suddenly, You may think that What is Broccoli?… Basically, Broccoli is also one of the delicious and edible green vegetable plants, which falls under the cabbage family. In general, the large flowering head of broccoli is eaten as a vegetable in our day to day life.
In fact, it is a cool-season crop, which can be grown in the spring season & fall season. The main advantage of growing Broccoli is that this green vegetable plant can be harvested throughout the year if plantation is done accurately.
As a member of the cabbage family, it is a most selected for the home garden. Fresh heads of broccoli are rich in almost all kinds of vitamins & minerals. Apart from this, they are tasty and delicious as a raw in salads as well as when lightly steamed and frozen well. And, it the best choice for making a big profit in the rural area as a good economy.
However, when it comes to the description of Broccoli plant, a large and green flower heads grows on its plant, specially arranged in a tree-like structure and branching out from a thick and edible stalk. The edible head is covered by several leaves. It also resembles the cauliflower which does not belong to this family.
It is eaten as a raw, boiled, steamed as well as in the stir-fried state. It is one of the most nutritious green vegetables in the world. As it is full of minerals and vitamins. It is an excellent source of iron, magnesium, and calcium along with vitamin ‘A’ and vitamin ‘C’.
The word “Broccoli” is an Italian plural of ‘Broccolo’ which mean’s “the flowering top of a cabbage”.
Basically, this can be grown in indoors, pots, containers, greenhouses, poly house, as well as under the shade nets. Presently, Growing Broccoli hydroponically is the best idea, which helps in getting excellent yields with a minimum input in this vegetable crop.
Scientific Name or Botanical Name of Broccoli
The scientific name and botanical name of broccoli is Brassica oleracea. It belongs to the family Brassicaceae and to the genus Brassica.
Local Names of Broccoli
Wild cabbage, Chinese broccoli, Headless cabbage, White flowering broccoli, Bróculi chino (Spanish), Chinesischer Brokkoli (German), Jie lan cai, Gai lan (Chinese), Kailan (Malay), Broccoli de Chine (French), Phak khana (Thai), Kairan (Japanese), brukuuli (Arabic), broccolo (Italian), Hari phool gobhi (Urdu), Broccoli (Swedish), ανθοκράμβη or brókolo (Greek), brokolice (Czech), Brókkoli (Russian), and Brokoli (Turkish).
World Top 10 Producer of Broccoli
India holds second positions in the list when it comes to the production of broccoli vegetables after China. However, learn the list of top 10 broccoli producer in the world:
- United States
Most Productive Broccoli Varieties for Commercial Farming
When going for commercial vegetable production, it is essential to growing the best productive variety of broccoli in order to get excellent vegetable yield with minimum care and management.
So, here I had listed worlds most productive varieties of broccoli, best suitable for commercial farming in different climate conditions. Check out all.
- Paraiso (Hybrid broccoli Paraiso) – It is best for crown cut, bunching, and florets. It is also best for florets processing. It attains maturity after about 75 days from transplanting Or in 95 days if directly sowed on the main field. Its plant has an excellent upright habit, and it produces heads with a large dome and fine, dark-green beads.
- Gemini – It produces uniform heads with nice presentation. And, are best suitable for concentrated harvesting. This fresh market hybrid is perfect for summer and autumn crown production.
- Constellation – It produces dense heads on the erected plant. It is also best suitable for concentrated harvesting.
- Blue Wind – It heads are medium sized, blue-green in color with small and attractive beads. It gives uniform production and is easy to harvest. After maturity, Harvest immediately because it does not hold in the field as well as later varieties. It has Unsized seed.
- Tahoe RZ – They have very high yield potential. And, performs their best from cool to hot climate conditions. They produce smooth, dense and high domed heads with small to medium, uniform beads. They have attractive dark green color and are excellent for crowns.
- Emerald Crown – It is very uniform, medium maturing heavy-headed domed variety of broccoli with small beads on a small-framed plant. It can be grown well from cool season to warm season (avoid growing in rainy season). It can extend the Green Magic slot into cold due to its resistance to purpling. They produce excellent quality crown cuts in a very short time period in all NAFTA regions.
- Centennial – It has small beads, smoother heads with minimal sides hoots. In fact, it is a multi-use broccoli variety that performs it best in all kind of Marathon slots. The main advantage is, it can be grown throughout the year in the cool coastal growing regions.
- Marathon – For commercial broccoli farming, Marathon is widely adaptable variety. And, it gives outstanding results for the fresh-market bunching, processing, and the increasingly popular crown cut market. It produces small bead with a high dome and heavy head.
- Imperial – This broccoli variety performs it best during the long-day climate conditions with a gentle warm condition. It produces a tight dome with nice, dark-green small, beads. It is also multi-used variety and mostly grown for bunching, crown cut, and processing.
- Avenger – An excellent choice for the processing markets and crown cut. It produces tight, heavy, dome-shaped, blue-green heads with short bracts having thick stems and very small beads. When it comes to growing areas, it is widely adopted in U.S., Mexico, and Guatemala to get excellent results with great yield potential.
However, they can be also classified based on their colors. Like Broccoli raab, Heading Type (Green), Romanesco, Sprouting Type (Green and Purple), etc.
Where Does Broccoli Grow?
Broccoli can be grown in greenhouses, poly houses, pot, containers, in backyards or on large scale commercially. However, it is essential to growing broccoli in suitable climate conditions with soil required to obtain optimum production.
Climate Conditions for Broccoli Farming
Basically, it is a cool-season crop that can be cultivated throughout the year under controlled conditions like greenhouses and playhouses. If not possible, it can be grown in both; spring and fall on the open and large field.
Broccoli can thrive their best in growing temperature around 18 °C to 20 °C. And, for excellent germination, the ideal soil temp should be around 20 °C to 22 °C.
But, do not that this crop is very sensitive to both, very low and high temp during growing period. So, for cultivating broccoli in such type of region, farmers should go with improved varieties having a good tolerance to high temperatures.
Soil Requirement for Broccoli Farming
Soil Selection is an important task for the commercial broccoli cultivation. This vegetable crop can be grown over a wide range of soil from light sandy loams to heavy clay loams with good drainage capacity and should also rich in all organic matters.
However, to obtain excellent yield with optimum production, cultivation should be done on clay loam or deep sandy loam soil with good amount of humus content and good drainage capacity.
The optimum soil pH for good yield should be in between 6.3 to 7.2 pH value. Cultivation of broccoli on soil having soil pH less than 6.0 should be avoided. However, for growing on such kinds of soils, it should be corrected by applying only required amount of lime.
To achieved excellent production from commercial broccoli farming, it is advised to keep rotating the crop with other non-crucifers crops. It is also advised to the grower to go for a soil test before growing on the field. It will help to learn the suitability of soil. And, also helps to understand the nutrients and minerals deficiency, which need to be corrected.
How to Grow Broccoli Vegetables?
Land Preparation for Broccoli Farming
Land preparation also plays a very important role in the commercial broccoli cultivation. So, bring down the soil in fine tilth form by giving two or three plowing before planting. Extra weeds should be removed along with other dead material from the field.
For single row planting on raised beds, furrows of 0.5 meter apart should be made, whereas, for double row planting, it should be 1.0 meter wide and 0.5 meters apart.
Propagation in Broccoli Farming
Propagation in Broccoli vegetable farming is mainly done by seeds. It can be achieved by direct seeding on the main field. Or by transplanting the seedlings, grows on nurseries beds on the field.
Presently, Modern farmers used to grow broccoli seedling, raised in nurseries using the cell trays.
Planting in Broccoli Farming
When it comes to planting broccoli vegetables, they can germinate their best at 12 ºC soil temp. However, they require hot climate conditions with moist and slightly acidic fertile soil during the growing period.
For growing by direct seeding on the field, highly qualified seeds should be sown directly to the ground by keeping some distance between them. However, for transplanting the nursery-raised seedlings, transplant the seedlings having 3 to 6 true leaves and are three to four weeks old.
Broccoli Growing Season
For spring plantations, transplantations should be done around 2 weeks before the last spring frost. It helps to lessen down the maturity days, around 10 days less.
And, for fall plantation, seeding should be done around 85 days before the first fall frost appears. Fall plantation is the best suitable for growing this vegetable crop as they thrive their best under cool climate conditions. On an average, planting should be done from mid to late summer
Broccoli Planting Depth
Seed should be sown, around 1/2 inch deep. And, seedling should be transplanted slightly deeper than they were grown originally.
Thinning of seedling should be done in case of overseeding in order to give room for the broccoli to grow healthily.
Seed rate & Spacing in Broccoli Farming
Spacing and Seed rate varies accordingly to the selected cultivar, soil quality, and fertility, planting method, etc. However, on an average, 300 gm to 500 gm quality seeds are good enough for planting on unit hectare land.
However, after spending and transplanting seedling, thinning should be at about 3 cm apart after 2 to 3 days of germination.
Spacing for single row planting should be 40 cm to 45 cm apart, whereas, for double row planting, the spacing should be 60 cm to 65 cm. Grown seedling must be watered sufficiently for several hours before planting on the field in order to avoid the wilting during transplanting. A light irrigation must be done, just after transplanting the seedlings.
Irrigation in Broccoli Farming
The first irrigation should be carried out, just after transplanting the seedlings on the main field. However, the frequency of irrigations depends on the type of soil and climate conditions. It is very important to maintain the proper soil moisture during the complete growing period to ensure higher production.
After the first irrigation, subsequent irrigations should be carried out at an interval of 7 to 10 days, depending on soil moisture level and weather conditions.
Make sure to not get wet the developing heads while watering the plants. In case of drought and hot conditions, it is essential to provide consistent soil moisture with regular watering & never let the soil dry. Mulching is the best option to prevent higher moisture loss and extra weed growth.
Manures and Fertilizers in Broccoli Farming
This vegetable crop responds very well to the application of manures and fertilizers. In fact, it requires well fertile soil in order to get optimum production. So, about 10 tonnes of Well-decomposed farmyard manure should be applied at the time of land preparation per unit hectare land. One can also apply it about 3 to 4 weeks before the seedling transplantation.
Also, at the time of planting seedlings on the main field, about 120 kg of Nitrogen, 80 kg of Phosphorous, and 80 kg of Pottasium should be applied to this crop. The nitrogen should be given in different split doses.
- The half dose should be given at the time of seedling transplantation.
- The 2nd dose, about 1/4 should be given after about 30 to 35 days of planting.
- The remaining 1/4 should be given after about 45 days of planting.
Pests and Diseases in Broccoli Farming
In commercial farming of broccoli, it is very important to control pests and diseases in order to ensure high-quality production. So, check the list of all diseases, pests, and insect that are commonly observed in the broccoli production.
- Alternaria leaf spot Alternaria brassicae
- Black rot Xanthomonas campestris
- Clubroot Plasmodiophora brassicae
- Powdery mildew Erysiphe cruciferarum
- Sclerotinia stem rot (White mold) Sclerotinia sclerotiorum
- White rust Albugo candida
- Blackleg Phoma lingam
- Downy mildew Hyaloperonospora parasitica
- Wirestem (Damping-off) Rhizoctonia solani
- Ring spot Mycosphaerella brassicicola
Broccoli Pests & Insects
- Diamondback moth Plutella xylostella
- Flea beetle (Crucifer flea beetle) Phyllotreta Cruciferae
- Large cabbage white (Cabbageworm) Pieres Rapae
- Thrips (Western flower thrips, Onion thrips, etc.) Frankliniella Occidentalis
- Root-knot nematode Meloidogyne spp.
Harvesting in Broccoli Farming
In a very short time period, around 80 to 90 days from the planting on the main field, broccoli attain their maturity. However, the maturity age varies depending on the cultivar. Quality broccoli heads should be harvested, when they attain their full maturity with proper size and firm. And, never wait until the clustered buds begin to open.
Cutting off the broccoli heads along with 25 cm of the edible stem portion should be carried out manually with local workers with good supervision in order to maintain the quality of vegetable. For harvesting, make use of a sharp knife in order to cut the head stem, little above from the below head. Most of the cultivar has side-shoots which allow other heads to develop, even after the main head being harvested. This also helps in getting production at different interval of time.
To get good quality of heads, the best time of harvesting is the early morning. And, then after, packing of heads should be done as soon as possible after cutting from the plants.
Yield in Broccoli Farming
The yield of this crop depends on numbers of factors including variety, soil type, climate and other garden management skills, practiced during the cultivation.
However, on an average, one can easily obtain 200 to 250 quintals per unit hectare land, depending upon the variety.