Everybody wants to grab the opportunity of growing a healthy and delicious vegetable, like broccoli, in their garden. But it is not as easy as it sounds. Growing broccoli and taking care of it has its own fair share of pros and cons.
If you are growing broccoli in your backyard, chances are that you are also stuck with the question, “how much water do broccoli plants need?”
Long answer short, broccoli plants need a regular watering schedule that meets their requirement of at least 1 to 1.5 inches per week, excluding rainy days.
But, this is not it! Watering broccoli rightly has so much more to do than giving 1-1.5 inches of water weekly. If not taken care of, your broccoli plant can backfire, resulting in more harm than any good.
So, how can you ensure that the broccoli plant is receiving an adequate amount of water, at the right time, and the right frequency? Scroll through to get answers to your questions.
Also Read: Why My Broccoli Leaves Turning Yellow?
How Much Water Does Broccoli Need?
If you want your broccoli plants to flower and stay healthy and thick for long periods of time, you should know how much and how often to water broccoli plants.
Broccoli plants are a lover of water and if you want them to stay healthy for a long time, you should never compromise on their need for the same.
As mentioned above, your broccoli plant needs approximately 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week. If you stay in a region that receives scanty rainfall, you have to prepare and plan the watering conditions in a way that your plants get at least 1 inches of water a week.
Note how we are repeatedly referring to the amount of 1 to 1.5 inches of water as “at least”. This is because this is the least that your plants expect from you while growing up. They do not mind a few extra inches of water, and might enjoy that.
If you live in a region that is prone to rain for almost all the part of the year, you do not have to worry about watering your broccoli plants yourself. Leave it to nature and you do not have to worry about the rest.
Also Read: How Often to Water Green Onions?
Watering the Broccoli Plant Base
Watering broccoli, or any other vegetable plant for that matter, overhead is not recommended for a couple of reasons. Then, what is the ideal way to water plants? Do them at the plant base and allow the water to soak in soil as deeply as it can.
Further, it is not suggested to spray water on the soil with sharp and quick shrieks. Slow, deep, and gentle soaks in the soil are the best and yield the most benefits for both your soil and plant.
Keeping the water flow slow and gentle also helps you avoid the situation of soil erosion, which is very tough to deal with. Putting a sprayer at one end of the garden hose to water your plant base is one of the most beneficial practices that one can ever switch to.
Remember to always sprinkle and mist the plant base and soil as against putting high pressure watering to practice.
Watering broccoli overhead or at the top of your plants also invites the unnecessary risk of diseases and other fungal infections that disrupt the functioning of your plant.
Mulching is the simple practice of adding a layer of organic mixture on the top layer of your soil, that yields maximum benefits for your plants, especially in terms of retainaing the moisture content and getting the maximum out of the water that you have sprayed.
Mulching your broccoli plants continuously ensures that the soil remains moist throughout and the weeds are kept at a bay for long hours.
If you find it hard to get mulch for your broccoli plants, you can just work with some chopped up leaves, some garden clippings, and used up straw. These simple ingredients can help you create your own mulch from scratch.
An added advantage of mulching your soil after watering them is that it enables your plant to better retain nutrients from all parts of the soil, thus extracting maximum benefit.
Check this out: How to Grow Broccoli Microgreens?
Why is it Important to Water Broccoli?
Contrary to popular belief, broccoli, just like any other vegetable plant, are heavy feeders, and they meet their nutrient requirement from the provided water.
If your plant lacks enough moisture or water content, then it can interfere with its ability to absorb nutrients from the soil. This can eventually lead to a nutrient deficiency in your broccoli plants, ending it to death.
Underwatering broccoli plants is also detrimental for the leaf health at the initial stages of your broccoli plant. It does not support growth, the leaves tend to discolour and turn brown from the edges. When the leaf growth is minimal, it is not prepared to grow a large broccoli head all by itself, thus leading to termination of plant growth.
In addition to this, not meeting the water requirements of your broccoli plants can also result in weak, unhealthy, and wrinkled broccoli fruits, which is of no use to you. That is, even if you manage to grow broccoli heads from a dehydrated plant, the result will not be worth using or eating.
Keeping the soil moist and plants watered, also helps to keep weeds and other diseases away from your broccoli plant, thus saving you the time to prick out weed by yourself. On the other hand, if you overwater your broccoli plant, you will invite fungal infections and diseases to your plant, since they breed in conditions of excessive moisture and humidity.
Also Read: How Often to Water Lettuce?
Growing Broccoli: Plant Care Tips
Watering broccoli is definitely one of the most important things throughout the journey of growing broccoli plants. But, do you know that if other needs of the broccoli plants are not complemented with water, it can lead to an unhealthy environment for your broccoli plants.
Follow some of the most important broccoli plant care tips to give your plant a healthy and sustainable life.
Also Read: How to Propagate Broccoli?
Broccoli plants are happiest when kept in a warm and nurturing environment. The ideal range to keep your broccoli plants is 45 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Your plants thrive at this stage.
That being said, your broccoli plant is also fit to survive if kept in a temperature that is as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Keeping broccoli plants in cold temperatures requires a few other recommendations, like using floating row covers and covering your broccoli plant from them to protect them from harsh winters.
They also act to increase the surrounding air temperature by a few degrees, thus giving your broccoli plant the kind of warmth it needs.
Broccoli plants are vegetable plants, making them highly vulnerable to the attack of pests and consequent diseases.
Preventing the presence of diseases in your broccoli plant can be done by restricting the growth of broccoli plants in the same area more than once.
Diseases make plants unhealthy, and if consumed as it is, they can even make you and your family members sick.
If you do not want the disease to spread to other parts of the plant, the most effective way is to cut the infected area and throw it away from your backyard.
As mentioned earlier, broccoli plants are heavy feeders. This fact doesn’t remain limited to the amount of water they need, but also extends to the frequency and intensity of fertilizers they require.
Just as broccoli plants need frequent watering, they need to be showered with a diluted dose of fertilizers after every other week.
Broccoli plants perform best when they get sprinkled with a fertilizer that has a well balanced NPK ratio, that is equal ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. One example of a well balanced fertilizer is 10-10-10 or 14-14-14.
However, the broccoli plants don’t mind if the proportion of nitrogen is slightly greater at times. If you are using solid fertilizers, spread the granules all around the soil and do not touch the plant, keeping it undisturbed for days.
On the other hand, if you decide to go for a liquid type of fertilizer, you would need to dilute it with some part of water and check your plants to show any signs of reaction to the chemical fertilizer. Slowly reduce the amount of water as your plant gets adapted to the fertilizer.
An organic fertilizer is the most preferred kind of fertilizer for all types of vegetable plants, including broccoli plants. Organic fertilizers usually consist of ingredients like peat moss and perlite for both drainage and additional nutrient content. You can either make it at home or buy it commercially.
Now that you know the precise watering requirements of your broccoli plant, it is time to plant more of them in your backyard, with plenty of sunlight and water. Let know in the comments which of these watering practices were you already aware of and what worked out for you!