Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Eat your broccoli!!!

I planted a few broccoli plants over a month ago just to see how they would do...I didn't want to start them all too early because I wasn't sure they would survive. Apparently if the temperature fluctuates too much broccoli will button which means you get smaller heads. Last year we had great success with the Pac Man variety so we are using it again this year. We are also growing Belstar and some Romanesco which we planted in our raised beds about 9 days ago. Today I noticed they are starting to sprout and it's no doubt because the covered beds are very warm and toasty inside.

The biggest challenge I have encountered in growing broccoli is keeping the aphids off. The first year we grew it the heads were covered with them. Who wants to eat that??....yuck...Last year we tried something new: we grew broccoli exclusively in the raised beds with marigolds surrounding them and had very little problems with bugs. I don't know if it was the marigolds or the raised beds that did the trick but I guess I'll go with the old saying "if it ain't broke don't fix it".

I'll leave you with a bit of broccoli facts: the name broccoli comes from the Latin word brachium which means arm or branch and broccoli was first commercially grown in New York. Did you know that on March 18, 1990 broccoli was banned from Air Force One by U.S. President George H.W. Bush....wow he set a great example for our kids....no wonder he didn't get reelected :)

8 comments:

  1. I'm planting a LOT more broccoli this year. Last year I failed at cauliflower, so broccoli will take its place this spring. I don't worry much about bugs in it, I just soak it in a sink full of cold water, with about a Tbsp. of salt, and the worms and bugs float right out. I didn't have any bug problems at all last year, maybe because mine were also surrounded with marigolds!

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  2. I love broccoli and cauliflower AG....I think the marigolds really helped but idk...I also used salt to get rid of those buggers but it was.... well... lets just say too many critters for me.. :)

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  3. Broccoli is a fall crop for me, because it gets warm too fast in the spring. I'll try cauliflower for the first time this year. Yay!

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  4. I would probably trade you for the early warm weather EG...actually I should stop complaining and count my blessings because I can do both spring and fall crops here... :)

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  5. Haha, it's funny....when I read the title of your post, I automatically thought of Bush Sr. LOL And there he was at the bottom :D

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  6. Kyna: George Sr. doesn't know what he is missing huh? :)

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  7. I wasn't planning on growing broccoli this year, but now after seeing your post I think I might. We haven't had a problem with aphids on them. It might be because I plant nasturtiums around the bed, they get covered by mid summer in aphids. I guess they work the same way your marigolds do.

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  8. Catherine..Yep the nasturiums do a great job with the aphids too. I love growing it because I can blanch and freeze it and eat it year round.

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