If you are a home gardener planning on growing a vegetable garden full of nutritious vegetables, a patch of broccoli plants is a must-have for your garden. Broccoli is a nutrient-rich member of the cabbage family. This huge-dark-green flower is considered one of the healthiest vegetables found in supermarkets. This write-up is all about easy steps to propagate broccoli (growing from cuttings).
Having a patch of the garden dedicated to nutritious broccolis is a dream for many gardeners, as is having a secure and continuous supply of the vegetable a dream for health-conscious individuals. People are divided on their opinion about the taste of these vegetables.
While some people opine that they love its taste, others find it grassy and bitter. Depending upon the variety of the vegetable you grow, the bitterness of the fruit ranges from mild to severe.
Love it or hate it, it is almost unanimously accepted that the amount of nutrition that is available in broccoli is much higher than any other vegetable.
Any vegetable tastes several orders of magnitude better when cultivated at home, with the required care and nourishment. The nutritional quality of homegrown vegetables is way better than the ones found in supermarkets as these are grown organically and are free from harmful chemicals, pesticides, fertilizer and preservative.
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This is exactly the same with broccoli. An organically cultivated broccoli grown in your own backyard is much richer in nutritional quality and taste.
This full-of-benefits vegetable can be cooked into delicious recipes and can also be eaten raw. Apart from its health benefits, there is another major reason which makes broccoli extremely popular among home gardeners.
If you are into organic and minimalistic gardening and aspire to reduce household waste, broccoli cultivation should fascinate you.
Did you know you can cultivate broccoli without heading to the nursery to pick up seeds or seedlings? These vegetables can just be grown from your kitchen scraps.
Yes, you read that right. The kitchen scraps that you throw in the dustbin and later in the dumpster can actually give you a broccoli garden.
You can cultivate broccoli from the white root end that you normally toss into the garbage bin after chopping off what you needed from the vegetable. This is because broccoli can be cultivated from its cuttings.
Now, you must be wondering how to grow broccoli from cuttings. Well, relax and read on as we tell you everything you need to know about propagating broccoli from its cuttings.
Broccoli is rich in Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin A and several minerals. Broccoli contains less than 1% fat, which makes jr extremely popular among health-conscious individuals who are wary of gaining fat. On the negative side broccoli mostly contains water.
So the juicy stems of broccoli might be rich in vitamins, but calorie-wise they are not enough for you as a meal. That is why broccoli mostly gets grilled, fried or steamed to be eaten with salads.
Broccolis make delicious dishes and are a part of various cuisines across the world. From soups to salads, from dishes like broccoli with tomatoes to roasted, steamed or fried, this humble vegetable can be used in a number of delicious dishes.
Broccoli also contains folic acid, fibre and calcium, serving as an important source of calcium for those who do not consume dairy products. It contains soluble and insoluble fibre and antioxidants like beta-carotene.
It arms your body up against many infections and helps in the prevention of diseases like cataracts and heart problems. It is also considered to be a valuable aid in reducing the risk of cancers and controlling blood pressure.
Botanically a member of the cabbage family, broccoli is considered a cool-season crop. It can be harvested two times a year, during the fall and summer. To be specific broccoli needs about 18 to 23°C on an average to grow.
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It grows best in areas with plenty of direct sunlight and requires a rich, fertile, well-drained soil which is furnished with sufficient compost. With proper care, broccoli plants can provide a produce of 3.5 quintals on average per acre of land.
Being a shallow-rooted plant, broccoli plants need regular and frequent irrigation to keep the plants from drying out. The soil, however, must be well-drained as the plants cannot stand water logging. While cultivating from seeds, temperature up to 5°C work fine for this plant.
Broccoli plants are quite hardy and are resistant to frost. As such, planting then during the frosty days of winter is not a problem.
Growing Broccoli from Cuttings
Most of the people who cook broccoli and like its taste use the greener and juicier parts with the green hat. However, the white meaty part of the broccoli i.e. the stems are also edible. They contain a good amount of nutrients and deliver a good crunchy texture to your dish.
But if you are a person who finds it bitter and off-putting you are not alone. Many people around the world find the stem part a little too grassy. So the stem joins other scraps in the garbage can.
But let me tell you a secret that little scrap can grow you another broccoli in a season. Especially If you can attain more than one stem you can have a whole garden of broccoli. To learn how to propagate broccoli keep on reading.
How to Propagate Broccoli? (Steps to Grow Broccoli from Stem)
- Ingredients – Before starting to collect these ingredients and tools from your local shop: Broccoli, Knife or kitchen scissors, Glass jar, Water, Compost, Acidic organic soil, Fertilizers, Rubber bands and Plastic wrap.
- Cutting the stem – While cutting the stem use a very sharp knife or a kitchen scissor. Sharper knives will protect the stem from damage. Cut the broccoli top parts carefully so the stem has some branch attachments left. Clear the lower part of the stems by clearing any attachments from it.
- Preparing the Jar – Add clean water to the jar to the level where the stem submerges for about 2 to 3 inches. Leave 2 to 3 inches out of the water. Add a plastic wrap on the jar. Secure it with a rubber band. Poke holes in the plastic wrapper for air to pass through.
- Locating the jar – Locate the jar by the windowsill or in other location with sun available throughout the day. If the sprout gets enough sun and nourishment new roots will start to grow.
- Observation – Observe the stem for about a week. The new roots will grow and increase in number. Observe the roots every day when they grow deeper and thicker it is time to transfer them. Don’t let the tips of the roots get darker in color.
- Transferring the stem – Transfer the stem with thick roots to a new container with compost. And water it thoroughly. In wet compost, the stem will get enough nutrients and start growing the sprouts. First sprouts will first come in white or yellow then start to turn green. Now it has turned into a plant.
- Transferring the plant – Transferring the plant to the garden bed at this point becomes necessary for a healthy growth. Prepare an acidic organic soil and spread it as the topsoil for at least 4 to 8 inches thick. Transfer the plant with all the materials from the jar i.e. compost, roots and stem. It is very important to be very careful. Roots of the trees should not be hurt in this process.
We hope you got your answer to the question, “can I grow broccoli from stem?” For further care follow the article to the end.
Other Ways of Cultivating Broccoli
The most common way of growing broccoli is not propagation through cuttings. Broccoli is commonly grown by gardeners from seeds which can easily be bought from local nurseries and supermarkets. You can collect the seeds yourself too.
Collecting broccoli seeds is a fairly easy process. This reduces your expenditure, helping you to stay within the bounds of your garden budget. To collect the seeds from broccoli plants, you will have to designate specific plants only for the purpose of growing seeds. Identify these plants at the beginning of the harvesting season itself.
Let these plants keep growing even after you have harvested the others, and let them start flowering. During the flowering season, these plants would produce long stalks which would be full of tiny yellow flowers. These are the flowers of the broccoli plant.
Watch over as these flowers mature, producing seed pods which are green in color. These pods will then mature and dry turning into a brownish yellow color. After these pods have dried up, cut off the entire plant.
Grind the pods after they have dried up completely to obtain small mustard-sized seeds. After obtaining the seeds sieve the entire mass to screen out the dry pods. These seeds then have to be stored in a sealed, air-tight container and stored in a dry place with a low temperature. They can easily be stored for 4-5 years.
After obtaining the seeds the thing to do is to plant them. For growing broccoli from seeds, follow the steps given below:
- Prepare the ground by mixing 1-inch thick manure or compost in a planting bed. Make sure that the soil is well-drained and loose. This bed should be watered well to prepare it for the seeds.
- Plant the broccoli seeds in this soil now. Make sure that the seeds are at least 3 inches apart from each other.
- Water the seeds well, but do not overwater. Overwatering can cause the seeds to get washed away or even rot.
- The seeds should germinate within 4 to 7 days of planting them. However, if the temperature fluctuates or is more or less than the required temperature, the seedling might take a little longer to appear.
- The seedlings would require thinning to ensure healthy growth. Keep the seedlings at about 14-18 inches distance from each other.
- The newly developed seedlings would require regular watering as they need to be kept moist during their growth. These plants have shallow roots that will dry out unless the surface of the soil remains moist.
Cultivating broccoli from both seeds and stems require a lot of care and vigilant attention. Taking care of the plants especially during the early days is vital for the healthy growth of the plants.