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The Seed Program
Growing Hints

This is one of the many growing hints that are available as a bonus with a registered copy of The Seed Program.

Broccoli

Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family that grows best in cool weather and with plenty of moisture. Seeds are usually planted indoors and transplanted into the garden in early spring. It is also a good candidate for fall planting. Exposure to frost is no problem for broccoli. Because of it's need for moisture and cool soil, a thick mulch is particularly useful.

The part of broccoli that is eaten is the flower head, which must be harvested before the yellow flowers open. Plants usually form a large central head first. This may be cut off at the top and the plants left in the ground. Smaller flower heads will then develop that may be harvested later.

The cabbage looper and imported cabbage worm are the most frequently encountered insect pests. These small, pale green caterpillars hatch from eggs laid by small white butterflies. Plants may be sprayed or dusted with BT (Bacillus thuringiensis), a biological control that is harmless to everything but caterpillars. Even when small worms do only minor damage to the plant, they may hide in the harvested head and escape notice until the vegetable is served. Floating row covers may also be used to prevent the butterflies from laying eggs on the plants, and this avoids the problem altogether. Other cabbage family diseases and pests are best prevented by crop rotation. Avoid planting cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower in the same place from year to year.

For more crops, more complete gardening information, a garden journal and a planting schedule you can customize for your region, purchase The Seed Program!

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