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Grow Broccoli in Grow Bags & Pots

Are you interested in growing fresh, nutritious broccoli right on your balcony or small space? In our latest blog post, we provide you with valuable insights on how to successfully...

Broccoli is an easy to grow vegetable that is both delicious and highly nutritious. In this blog post, I'll provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to successfully cultivate broccoli in your small space.

TIP # 1 Selecting the Right Variety:

Before you start your broccoli-growing journey, it's important to choose a variety that is well-suited to your grow zone.  Consider factors such as temperature tolerance, days to maturity, and plant size when selecting the best variety for your region. Our blog about Grow Zones is invaluable in helping you deternine what plants will suit your garden.

TIP # 2 Grow Bags & Pot Prep

Broccoli thrives in fertile, well-draining potting soil. Opt for a grow bag or pot with a capacity of at least 30  litres minimum to provide enough space for one plant's roots or choose a larger pot or garden sized grow bag such as a  Raised Garden Bed and grow multiple plants.  The Root Pouch grow bag material promotes good drainage and airflow to the roots and has been tested to be 100%food safe and BPA free. Always use a premium potting mix that meets the Australian Standards and various brands have veggie mixes pre-bagged. If you'd like to make your own potting mix, do consider the Make Potting Mix at Home Guide available in the store.

TIP # 3 Planting and Spacing:

Start broccoli seeds indoors or purchase seedlings. Broccoli can be grown from seed in Autumn and early Winter in all areas apart from the coldest regions where it’s best to start seeds in Summer. Seedlings can be planted year-round in all areas of Australia, but they are generally grown in the cooler months. Fill the grow bag or pot with the prepared soil mix, leaving about 5-10 centimeters (2-4 inches) of space below the rim. Plant the seedlings at the same depth as they were in their nursery containers, ensuring the crown is level with the soil surface.

TIP # 4 Sunlight and Location:

Place the grow bag or pot in a location that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. Ensure that the grow bag is positioned on a stable surface that can support its weight when filled with soil and water.

TIP # 5 Watering and Mulching:

Broccoli plants require consistent moisture to thrive, but be careful not to overwater as it may cause root rot. Aim for deep, regular watering to keep the soil consistently moist. Applying a layer of organic mulch around the plants will help retain moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature. Do consider using our Waterpot Ollas so that your plants have all the moisture they need without the guesswork.

Grow Broccoli in your small space

TIP # 6 Fertilising and Nutrient Management:

Broccoli is a heavy feeder and requires regular feeding to support its growth. Your potting mix should have complete fertilisers within it rhat will keep them nourished for several months, but you may be using old mix and might need to refresh this. In this case, once the plants are established, Broccoli grown in grow bags and pots will benefit from regular feeding. Apply a balanced liquid fertiliser or organic fertiliser every two to three weeks to provide essential nutrients for healthy growth. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the appropriate dosage.

TIP # 7 Pest and Disease Control:

Common pests that may affect broccoli include snails and slugs, aphids and cabbage moth and butterfly caterpillars. Monitor your plants regularly and take action at the first sign of infestation. I find netting with insect exclusion nets an effective way to keep harm away!

TIP # 8 Support:

As the broccoli plants grow, they may require support to prevent them from toppling over. Use stakes to support the main stem and prevent breakage, especially if you're growing large-headed varieties. What varieties? More to follow...

TIP # 8 Harvesting:

Harvesting broccoli at the right time is crucial for optimal flavor and texture. The main head is typically ready for harvest when it reaches a diameter of 10-20 centimeters and the buds are tightly closed. Cut the main head about 15 centimeters below the head, leaving the side shoots intact for later harvesting. Side shoots will continue to produce smaller heads, extending your harvest period. For shooting varieties pick when bright green and tender.

Extra Hot Tip: Some of the popular varieties to choose from

Broccoli comes in 2 main forms:
Sprouting broccoli - produces many small side shoots
Heading broccoli - produces a single large main head

Sprouting broccoli is great to grow in gardens where space is limited, because it produces edible shoots faster and continues producing for longer than heading varieties. Although you’ll need to wait longer to harvest heading broccoli varieties, the flavour and freshness of homegrown is well worth the wait! If you’re short on space look for varieties with a more compact growth habit or choose sprouting broccoli varieties for a longer harvest period.

The different variations of broccoli that you can consider growing are:

  1. Calabrese Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica): This is the most common type of broccoli found in supermarkets. It features a large, dense, and domed head with dark green florets. 

  2. Sprouting Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica): Also known as "broccolini" or "baby broccoli," this variation produces smaller heads and longer, thin stalks. Sprouting broccoli has a sweeter and more tender flavor compared to traditional broccoli. It is often harvested when the heads are small and the stalks are slender. Dwarf Broccoli is also available, the central head is smaller and therefore takes less time to mature. Be aware though that the plant takes up just as much space, despite the name.

  3. Romanesco Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica 'Romanesco'): This unique variety is famous for its stunning appearance. It forms a mesmerising chartreuse head with intricate spiraling cones. Romanesco broccoli has a nutty and slightly spicy flavor. 

  4. Purple Sprouting Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica): This variety is known for its vibrant purple florets and long harvesting period. Purple sprouting broccoli produces numerous small heads on long stalks, making it a great option for continuous harvests. 

  5. Broccoflower (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis): Broccoflower, also called "green cauliflower," is a cross between broccoli and cauliflower. It has a light green or pale yellow head with a milder and sweeter taste than traditional broccoli. 

  6. Broccoli Raab (Brassica rapa subsp. rapa): Also known as "rapini" or "cime di rapa," this variation features small broccoli-like heads and leafy greens. Broccoli raab has a slightly bitter taste and is commonly used in Italian cuisine. 

When choosing which variations to grow, consider your personal taste preferences, the climate of your region, and the specific growing requirements of each type. Experimenting with different variations can add variety and excitement to your broccoli harvests.

Remember to follow the specific planting and care instructions for each variation to ensure optimal growth and flavor. Happy growing and enjoy the diverse flavors of broccoli in your garden!


Fresh Broccoli


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