Broccoli is a member of Cruciferae, the cabbage family. Its botanical name is Brassica oleracea cv.italica. Broccoli has created new interest as a vegetable due to the growing demand for both the domestic and export markets.
Broccoli can be grown on a wide range of soil types, from light sandy loams through to heavy clay loams which must be well drained, regardless of type. Drainage may have to be improved by raising beds. Irrigation is important for optimum plant growth and proper main head and side shoot development.
The soil acidity should be between 6.0- 6.5.
Planting is done by either direct seeding or by transplanting. The soil temperature should be between 45- 500 F. Typical plantings are double rows on 38- to 42-inch raised beds with 12 to 14 inches between rows and 5 to 6 inches between plants in the row. For transplant production, a minimum cell diameter of 1 inch is recommended. 4-5 week-old seedlings with 4-5 true leaves are best for transplanting. Hardening of seedlings before planting improves stand establishment.
Fertilizers and Irrigation
Broccoli requires an adequate supply of soil moisture to produce maximum yields and quality. Overwatering can cause the development of watery heads, hollow stems, and root rots. Appropriate moisture levels are most critical during head formation. Drip irrigation systems usually provide higher water-use efficiency. Broccoli is a nutrient-demanding crop, and fertilization rates should be based on soil nutrient tests.
Weeding can be achieved with herbicides, mechanical control, and a good crop-rotation system. Broccoli competes fairly well with weeds, but it should be kept weed-free until plants reach the pre-heading stage.
Commander® 240 EC is sprayed 3 days before transplanting.
Pests and Diseases
Insects are a major potential problem in broccoli production. Flea beetles, cabbage loopers, imported cabbageworms, diamondback moths, and aphids all can cause crop losses. Monitoring insect populations with traps or by scouting will help you determine when you should use pesticides and how often you should spray.
Occasion star, trumpet, defender, lexus, kingcode elite, escort, pentagon, amazing top, alonze, emerald
Several broccoli diseases can cause crop losses. Black rot, blackleg, bacterial head rot, downy mildew, and Alternaria are common problems. Many of these diseases can be prevented by having a good crop-rotation program or by planting disease-resistant varieties.
Compliant, chancetyl elite, exempocurve, milestone, rimetagold.
Harvest and Storage
Hand harvesting is done when broccoli heads are closed and tight (no yellow petals showing) to be considered as good quality. The heads are graded for size (head diameter generally averages 6 inches) and for flower bead tightness.
Broccoli should be cooled with packed ice or a hydrocooler immediately after harvest. Broccoli that is cooled and maintained at 32°F and 95-100 percent relative humidity can be stored for 10-14 days. If broccoli is stored this long, however, it will begin to lose its dark green color and firmness.