Broccoli

Once you have harvested broccoli, you can store it in your refrigerator for 5 days, or it can be blanched and frozen for up to one year. Fresh broccoli is delicious when dipped in a dip such as French Onion dip. It can be mixed with pasta and noodles or pasta sauce in an Alfredo sauce, and is a great addition to a quick stir fry. And of course, broccoli soup..When harvest time rolls around, be sure to revisit us for some vintage recipes from the past. Or, if you have other ideas, please share with us.


Up here in New England it seems like gardening season is never going to come, but it will. And, this weekend is a special one, because it is time to start your planting indoors....with this cool season crop....

Broccoli is a nutritious vegetable that is rich in vitamins and minerals, and is a good source of vitamin A, Potassium, Folic Acid, Iron, and Fiber. And it is good tasting.

Because broccoli likes cool weather, you can start it indoors as of February 15th, and it can be transplanted into your garden about 60 to 90 days from the day you start them....they can also be started indoors around July 15th, and transplanted on August 15th for an autumn harvest.

Broccoli loves the sun, so plant it in an area the is moist and sunny, and if possible slight acidic. In early spring you should compost your gardens with 2 to 4 inches of rich compost or manure, if not already done. If you prefer to plant directly into the garden, you will need to wait until the soil is 40 degrees or higher, which is usually about 2 to 3 weeks before the last spring frost. In Rhode Island that is May 15th plus or minus 2 weeks. Plant the seeds `1/2 inch deep and about inches apart. When the plants are 2 to 3 inches tall you can thin them.

If transplanting, wait to the transplants have 4 to 5 leaves, and plant 2 to 3 weeks before that last spring frost date. Put them 12 to 20 inches apart so you don't need to thin them, and place them in a hole slightly deeper than the pot the are in.

Regardless of how you plant them, space your rows 36 inches apart....putting them closer may result in small main yields. Or your prefer a higher yield of secondary heads, you can make your rows closer.

Keep them moist with regular watering especially during dry conditions. They should get 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week....try not to get the developing heads wet, as this could lead to rotting. Use a mulch to manage weeds, as the roots of broccoli are shallow and you don't want to disturb them.

To harvest, you want to cut the heads from the plant, taking no less than 6 inches of stem. Cut on a slant so water will slide away from the head and to reduce the risk of rot. After you pick the large heads, you can expect your broccoli to put out side shoots that you can usually keep harvesting until it gets very hot.

Once you have harvested broccoli, you can store it in your refrigerator for 5 days, or it can be blanched and frozen for up to one year. Fresh broccoli is delicious when dipped in a dip such as French Onion. It can be mixed with pasta and noodles or pasta sauce in an Alfredo sauce, and is a great addition to a quick stir fry And of course, broccoli soup..When harvest time rolls around, be sure to revisit us for some vintage recipes from the past. Or, if you have other ideas, please share with us.


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