TIPS TO GROW BROCCOLI IN GREENHOUSE
It is a fact that we all love broccoli or at least many of us do love broccoli right?, well, the sad thing is, broccoli is a seasonal crop and so it is not normally common in some seasons, but the good news is, we can still grow this vegetable in any season and all year-round with the help of greenhouse.
To grow broccoli in greenhouse: Make ridges in the greenhouse or get pots filled with loamy soil, apply fertilizer or organic manure to the soil, then plant the broccoli heads and maintain the temperature of the greenhouse.
Broccoli is a cool weather and sun loving plant, therefor, it’s not fit to be grown in rainy season or snowy weather conditions outside, or it will die!.
Also learn: Advantages and disadvantages of growing crops in greenhouse
For instance, to grow broccoli in countries like U.K, U.S.A etc, in all year round, you need to have greenhouse to grow it because, at some point, the weather might get frustrating, making you to lose your hard work and money.
Please read this article to the end in order to understand and learn everything here!.
HOW TO GROW BROCCOLI IN A GREENHOUSE
Before you think of starting greenhouse broccoli farming, we assume that you now have a greenhouse of any sizes, depending on the quality of this vegetable crop you want to be growing, If not, you can purchase greenhouse at Amazon.
Now you have gotten the greenhouse of your preferred size, site it at a position where the sunlight is active, this is because greenhouse normally get good percentage of it’s hotness from the sun, unless you apply artificial hotness with the help of grow light etc.
Also learn: Tips to grow broccoli at home
Make ridges inside the greenhouse or use boxes as an alternative, depending on the size of the greenhouse.
Broccoli is a huge feeder crop, so it is recommended that after making the ridge or getting the planting boxes or tray, mix the loamy soil with either organic manure or fertilizer, apply small amount of Ammonium Nitrate or Ammonium sulfate.
Broccoli needs at least 6 to 8 hours of sunshine and a soil pH of 6.0 to 7.0 inorder to thrive and give good yields, but without sunlight, garden grow-light is good.
Note- make sure your greenhouse is well ventilated and with the normal temperature required to grow broccoli.
Now your greenhouse is ready, the next step is to germinate broccoli seeds which you will grow, to do this, get seed trays, put in good amount of fertile loamy soil it them, make holes, depending on the size of the seeds plant them in the holes, giving them at least 3 to 5 inches gap from each other, place them where the sunlight is active or use grow-light to germinate them. Broccoli seed needs a temperature of 18 to 21°c in order to germinate.
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Keep watering the soil at least with ½ of water per week. When they sprout, allow them up to 4 to 6 weeks before they could be transplanted or transferred to the greenhouse where they will grow till they mature.
When they are matured enough to be transferred to the greenhouse, “you will know this when they grow 4 to 6 leaves”, then transplant them to the greenhouse, planting them in holes according to their sizes, cover them with the soil, leaving the top or head on the surface to continue growing.
After the succeful transplant, water them and apply either organic manure or fertilizer, but avoid too much nitrogen fertilizers.
CARE OF GREENHOUSE BROCCOLI
Now you have successfully germinated and planted your broccoli in greenhouse, the next task is to take care of them and nurture then till they mature and are ready for harvests.
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Although, we all know that the greenhouse have done most of the hard work, compared to cultivating this crop in the open field or garden, but nevertheless, there are works to do such as:
Watering/Irrigation: This vegetable plant requires good amount of water to stay healthy, at least 1 to 1½ inch of water is good per week. Although many of these Hi-Tech greenhouse do have in-build irrigation system such as drip irrigation, which is the best, but incase yours isn’t one of them, the. you need to provide your own irrigation manually with the help of watering cane or better construct your own drip irrigation.
Note- do not water the head, apply water only on the soil near the crop in order to avoid rot.
Fertilizer: Like I said earlier, broccoli is a great feeder, so make sure you apply manure on then from time to time, in order for them to be healthy and give good yields. Use organic manure or buy fertilizer from Amazon and follow instructions.
Mulch: Mulch is important, but the fact is, it is not needed in greenhouse, as this Hi-Tech garden have the plants covered, so there is no need of mulch!, but is you must do it, don’t use leaves.
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Maintain good temperature and ventilation. always check the temperature of the greenhouse and control it when it gets too hot or too cold, always maintain good ventilation, as it will help you get ride of many diseases and also refreshes the plants.
PESTS/DISEASES OF GREENHOUSE BROCCOLI
Although, with the help of greenhouse, many diseases and pests that may affect this vegetable plant is curtailed, but nevertheless, you need to be careful and got your eyes wide open for some of these pests and diseases such as:
Cabbage loopers: cabbage root maggots, or worms, these are medium-sized moths. They are very destructive pests and do damage broccoli plants. These moth caterpillars cause small holes on the leaves.
To control this pest, you need bacterial pesticide Bacillus thuringiensis, or introduce beneficial insects in the greenhouse.
Aphids: this pest sucks all sap causing the leaves to curl.
To control this, introduce predator insects in the greenhouse!. Also the application of soapy detergent water to all sides of broccoli leaves once you notice aphids. Or you can follow the organic ways of controlling greenhouse pests.
Nitrogen deficiency: Although nitrogen is important, but not do not apply much of it, so when you notice that the broccoli leaves are turning yellow from bottom leaves to the top of the plant. Then it means the plant is lacking nitrogen. Supply it with blood meal to fix the nitrogen demand of the plant.
Downy mildew: is caused by moisture in the greenhouse which causes yellow patches on leaves.
To avoid the problem maintain proper airflow in the greenhouse by installing ventilators.
Clubroot: It is a common disease of the cabbage family plants which broccoli is among.
This disease is caused by Plasmodiophora brassicae, which was once considered a slime mold but is now put in the group Phytomyxea. A fungus that causes the plants to wilt.
To check if the fungus is the cause then the entire plant, including all roots and root tendrils, must be gently dug up and removed.
If you notice that the roots are gnarled and misshapen, then clubroot is the problem.
If you notice that clubroot is the cause or has affected your broccoli plants, quickly uproot and remove such plants in order to curtail it’s spreed. Raise the pH of your soil to above 7.2. You may need to sterilize your soil, too.
HOW LONG DOES BROCCOLI TAKES TO GROW IN GREENHOUSE/HARVEST
After planting and nurturing your broccoli, the next step is the most important and exciting which is the harvest stage. But the question is –
How long does broccoli takes to grow in greenhouse: Broccoli seed takes 4 to 6 weeks to sprout and takes 80 to 100 days to reach harvest stage.
To harvest, cut out the heads with knife, keep feeding the plants with manure and water after harvest, inorder for them to continue producing more heads to be harvested, although, smaller heads.
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