Agriculture Farming Vegetable Farming

Broccoli Farming Information

broccoli farming

Broccoli Farming – Information

Till recently, the broccoli was considered a food for the elite class. Today this vegetable can be found in every market and grocery store. Broccoli had been cultivated for long but it was not accessible to common people until recently. This is due to the fact that the commercial cultivation of broccoli for food is also relatively new.

The broccoli belongs to the mustard family and tastes like the cabbage. The edible portion of broccoli is the green colored flower head and the stalks. There are many variants of broccoli found in the market and cultivated by farmers. The broccoli is eaten raw or cooked. It is very popular in salads and soups. These days, the broccoli has become a very healthy option for people. The broccoli also is rich in many nutrients and is good for the body. Broccoli is usually grown in places with cooler climates. The different varieties of broccoli have made it easier for farmers to grow the vegetable in varied areas and climatic conditions. Since broccoli is so widely used in dishes and cuisines all around the world, cultivation of broccoli can be very profitable. For higher yields, modern methods of farming have to be used.

broccoli farming

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Scientific Name of Broccoli: Brassica oleracea var. italica

Top Countries Producing Broccoli

RankCountryTons of Cauliflower and Broccoli produced
7The United States288,740

Common Name Of Broccoli In Other Languages

LanguageWays to say broccoli
Chinese Simplified西兰花(xī lánhuā)
Chinese Traditional西蘭花(xī lánhuā)
Hmongzaub cob pob
Mongolianцэцэгт байцаа
Vietnamesecải xanh

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Different Varieties Of Broccoli Cultivated

  • Blue Wind

    This variety is an early variety of broccoli. The maturity time is about 60 days. The plant produces large and compact flowers. The shoot and foliage production is also very good for putting in salads and soups.

  • Calabrese

    This variety is best planted in the autumn season. As the weather becomes cool, the broccoli head also gains sweetness. The variety produces heads which are medium in size and are dark green in color. The side shoot production is also very good even after the broccoli flower is harvested.

  • Amadeus

    This early season variety is a medium sized plant which has a vigorous growth. The plant produces flower heads which have a blue-green color and are compact. The heads are 10-13 cm in diameter and have tiny beads in the heads. This variety is also good for side shoot production.

  • De Cicco

    This variant of broccoli is of Italian origin. This is mainly grown for the home The flower head is comparatively small but the side shoot production is good. The plant also has a variable maturity time.

  • Arcadia

    The arcadia variety bears medium-large flower heads which are purplish green in color and have small beads. This variety is resistant to a number of diseases and can also tolerate extreme cold.

  • Waltham 29

    This variety produces flower heads which have a blue-green color and are medium in size. The maturity time of this variety is 63-74 days. This variety is also tolerant to colder temperatures.

  • Fiesta

    This variety of broccoli has a very strong and stout plant with thick stems. The plants produce flower heads which are compact and well-domed. The side shoot production is not that vigorous. This variety is best suited for planting in late summer as it has a low tolerance to heat.

  • Romanesco

    This variety produces flower heads which have beautiful spiral heads. The light green heads have a mild delicate flavor. This is a very popular variety. It takes about 75 days to mature.

  • Early Purple Sprouting Broccoli

    This variety matures in about 65 days and produces bright purple colored flower heads. Instead of producing large heads, side shoots are produced which are harvested.

  • Apollo

    The maturity period of this variety of broccoli is 60-90 days. This is a specialty variety which is not suitable for cultivation at higher temperatures. The shoots become bitter at high temperatures. It is best cultivated in spring and fall season. The side shoot production is prolific and abundant.

Cultivation Of Broccoli

Although the planting time of broccoli may slightly vary for different varieties, the growth of the flower heads requires a cooler temperature. Varieties must be selected based on the region of cultivation. Before cultivation of broccoli, the market demand and availability of seed variety is to be determined.

Soil Conditions For Broccoli Farming

For cultivation of broccoli, deep soils having a good drainage system is required. Fertile soils having abundant plant nutrients are best suited for the cultivation of broccoli. The best soils would be clay loam or sandy loam. The broccoli cannot grow well in alkaline soils. However, too much acidic soils are also not good for its growth. Therefore, slightly acidic to neutral soils must be used for its cultivation. The soil must have moisture retention capacity so that plants are not dried out.

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Climatic Conditions For Broccoli Farming

Broccoli grows best in a cool climate. It is best grown in temperatures within 20 degree Celsius. Full sun exposure is needed for the entire growth period. High temperature affects flower head formation. Rain is also detrimental to the growth of broccoli plants and the yield of flower heads. There are few heat-tolerant varieties of broccoli which have been released to be cultivated in places with a warm weather. Such varieties are suitable to be cultivated in warmer regions.

Land Preparation For Broccoli Farming

The land must be thoroughly prepared for the cultivation of broccoli. Proper ploughings and harrowing are necessary for the cultivation of broccoli. When the soil has achieved a fine texture, the farmyard manure and fertilizers may be added to the soil. Proper drainage channels must be made in the field. The orientation f the planting site must be such that the plants get direct exposure to the sun but are not scorched by the heat. For that, shade regions must also be there for the plants.

Propagation And Planting Methods For Broccoli Farming

Broccoli is propagated through seeds. The seeds can be directly sown in the main field. For that appropriate seed, sowing implements can be used. The seeds are planted 0.5 inches deep inside the soil and manure mixed with topsoil is spread evenly. The transplanted seedlings can also be put in the main field. Direct seed sowing usually takes more time to mature than the transplanted seedling. The seeds are planted in nurseries under controlled conditions. Proper thinning and weeding method must be employed when the seeds germinate. After the seedlings have developed 4-5 leaves, they can be transplanted to the main field. After transplanting, the pits must be closed around the base and pressed firmly. A light irrigation is recommended after transplanting of seedlings.

Spacing, Seed Rate And Season For Broccoli Farming

On an average, 300gm of seeds are required per hectare to sow the seeds. A spacing of 40cm*60cm is given for good growth of the plants. The spacing and seed rate varies for a different variety of broccoli. Broccoli seeds are planted in autumn and spring. If cultivation of being done in warmer climates, then the seeds must be planted in late summer or beginning of autumn. This practice enables so that the flower heads will get ample time to develop in the winter.

broccoli farming

Fertiliser Management Of Broccoli Farming

Broccoli produces the best results in a fertile soil which is rich in organic matter. Before transplanting, the first application of farmyard manure must be completed. After that fertilizer application is done in three stages throughout the life cycle of the broccoli. Right after transplanting, the first fertilizer application must be done around the base of the plant. Two weeks after the first application of fertilizer, the second application must be done on the sides of the ridges where the plants are grown. The final application is done when flowering starts. The final application of fertilizers is done on the furrows. Appropriate quantities of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus along with micronutrients and minerals are essential. A light irrigation after every application of fertilizer is also necessary. Organic matter along with chemical fertilizer application produces desired results.

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Irrigation Methods In Broccoli Farming

Irrigation is necessary for broccoli crop as it has shallow roots. Provide especially during dry weather, irregular rainfall, flower head formation. Must not be missed during transplanting seedlings to the main field and after fertilizer application. During flooding in the rainy season, there must be proper drainage system to drain away the excess water. Mulching the crop with suitable mulching materials is a good way of retaining soil moisture. Irrigation at the time of frosting in winter protects plants from injuries. For water conservation, sprinkler irrigation or drip irrigation is very effective. The water used for irrigation must also be suitable and clean. While irrigating the crops, care must be taken so that the flower heads are not watered.

Intercultural Methods In Broccoli Farming

The emergence of weeds must be avoided in broccoli crop. For killing and controlling weeds, cultural methods and herbicides can be used. Manual methods can also be employed if possible. Thinning of the plants must be done while cultivating them in the main field or in the nursery. Thinning ensures only the healthy seedlings are transplanted to the main field.

If broccoli is being raised for the flower heads, then the side shoots must be removed frequently to improve the quality and size of the head. If cultivation is done for whole plant harvest, then plants must be raised accordingly. Crop rotation and intercropping are good for extra income and prevention of certain diseases and pests.

Pest And Disease Control In Broccoli Farming

The common pests and diseases affecting the broccoli crop are:

  • Whiteflies
  • Cabbage Worms
  • Flea beetles
  • Cabbage root maggots
  • Aphids
  • Downy mildew
  • Woodchucks
  • Cabbage loopers
  • Clubroot etc.

Some of the diseases can be controlled by planting disease-resistant varieties. Others can be prevented and treated by application of appropriate chemicals. Simple homemade remedies can also help to solve some problems of the pests. Proper nutrition management helps to avoid nutrition-related diseases.

Yield Of Broccoli

The yield of broccoli varies for each variety. Around 4-5 quintals of broccoli can be harvested per acre of land with good farm management practices.

Harvesting Broccoli

Manual harvesting is done for broccoli. The harvesting is done when the flowers have reached desirable size and weight. A knife can be used to carefully cut the flower heads along with some stalk. The harvesting must be done early in the morning.

Post-Harvest Management And Marketing Of Broccoli

The broccoli must be immediately packed and sent for marketing right after they are harvested. The firm and compact flower heads are sorted, graded and packed in cartons for selling. Proper packaging must be done for selling the flower heads so that they are not damaged.

Benefits Of Broccoli

  • Broccoli contains high amounts of Vitamin C. It protects the body from diseases and also keeps the skin glowing and healthy.
  • Broccoli is loaded with Vitamin K and calcium. These are important components for building the bone health and preventing bone diseases.
  • Broccoli is considered good for the heart. It prevents bad cholesterol from building up inside the body and also prevents other heart diseases.
  • Broccoli is known to prevent cancer. It has properties which may reduce the risk of cancer. It can prevent breast and uterus cancer by fighting against it.

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Broccoli Farming – Conclusion

Broccoli is a very healthy, nutritious and delicious vegetable. Cultivation of this vegetable on a large scale will only ensure its popularity and demand. Besides, it will also fetch a good price in the market if cultivated scientifically.