How to Grow Broccoli in Containers? Many people want to plant broccoli after hearing about Victory Gardens and growing their own food. If you don’t have enough space for a garden, don’t give up. Broccoli may be grown in containers.
Broccoli is a cool-season crop that should be planted one month before the last freeze date in the spring and two to three months before the last freeze date in the fall. And Broccoli belongs to the Cole crop family, which also includes Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower.
How to Grow Broccoli in Containers?
1. Find Right Place For Your Container
Broccoli requires at least six hours of direct sunlight to grow. They are feeble and spindly if they are less. Instead of being large and tight, the head is small and loose. Keep a journal for at least three days and write in it every time you notice the area getting the sun to achieve the optimum outcomes. You should also record when the sun is not shining in that location. Over three days, average the quantity of sun that the location receives. A broccoli plant will thrive in a location with six or more hours of direct sunlight. If it is not six or more hours, you must locate another location for your pot.
2. Choosing the Right Container for the Plant
A large enough pot is required for your broccoli to thrive. The pot must be robust and have bottom drain holes. It must be at least one-foot square and one foot deep. When filled with soil and water, this pot will be very heavy. Make certain that the location you choose can withstand the weight. Some terraces have weight limitations that determine how much weight the terrace can support before collapsing. Make sure you don’t go over the height limit for the place where you’re putting the pot.
If you plan to transfer the pot, I recommend hiring a furniture mover. This is a square platform on wheels. Simply place the pot on the wheels and roll it around instead of lifting it. Before using your pot, thoroughly clean it with a solution of one tablespoon of bleach to one gallon of water. Allow at least thirty minutes for the bleach water to sit in the pot.
This will sterilize the pot and protect your broccoli from disease or pests. Make sure to thoroughly wash the pot in clean water before planting to remove any remaining bleach solution. Finally, add a thin layer of stones to the bottom of the pot to prevent soil from clogging the drain holes.
3. Potting Mix to Grow Broccoli in Containers
When planting your broccoli, always use fresh potting soil. Pests and illnesses can live in old potting soil. You should use a vegetable-specific potting mix. A good potting mix contains a lot of organic materials, such as compost, to help the plant thrive. One cubic yard of the potting mix is required. For your broccoli to thrive, it should have a pH of 6-6.5.
Unless the potting mix contains fertilizer, you should fertilize your potting soil before planting. Too much fertilizer will burn and kill the plant. Too little fertilizer will not provide the plant with the nutrients it requires to produce a healthy head of broccoli. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer bag.
4. Planting Seeds
At this step, you must decide whether to plant broccoli seeds in your pot or a purchased transplant. The benefit of planting seeds is that you can observe what has been done to them from the start. You can grow your broccoli organically if you want to. The drawback is that it takes longer to mature to the size desired for harvesting. If you obtain a transplant, unless it says organically grown, it was most likely grown conventionally. That suggests it could have been fertilized with synthetic fertilizer and pesticide-treated.
Some of these insecticides can make your plant toxic to bees and butterflies that visit it. You might ask the nursery what fertilizer and herbicides were used on the plant. However, since seed beginning is the hardest aspect of growing something, you have a better chance of producing a nice plant with transplants. You also get your broccoli to harvest size faster.
5. Planting to Grow Broccoli in Containers
If you chose to start your broccoli from seeds, sow three seeds in a hole 12 inches deep. Sift a little earth over the hole until it is completely buried. Patting it down will make it difficult for the seed to germinate. You should water the soil lightly until it is wet but not saturated. It is too damp if you can pick up a handful of soil and squeeze water out of it. Pick the strongest seed once it has germinated and developed two leaves.
Cut the other two plants off the soil using a pair of scissors. You will damage the strong ones if you pluck the plants. If you opt to have a transplant, make a hole in your potting mix that is twice as deep and twice as wide as the plant. Place the plant in the hole so that the soil of the plant is even with the top of the soil in the container. Fill in the potting mix gently to avoid damaging the plant. Water the plant thoroughly.
6. Watering to Grow Broccoli in Containers
Broccoli plants require a lot of water to create a nice head. Container plants require a lot of water to keep from drying out. You will need to check the soil’s dryness every day. It is preferable to water once a day in the morning. The plant will never dry out this way. Overwatering, on the other hand, will destroy the plant.
It is vital to fertilize your broccoli in order for it to grow a healthy head of broccoli. However, too much fertilizer will cause the plant to burn. If you over-fertilize your plant, it will grow very huge leaves but not a very large head. The best idea is to use a balanced fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10 designed for veggies. Please follow the directions on the container.
7. Mulching For Your Plants
If you leave your plant outside, wild seeds will fall into the container and begin to grow. Mulch around your plant to protect it. Around the plant, you’ll need around 3 inches of mulch. This is sufficient to prevent the growth of weed seeds. It also conserves water and reduces soil temperature.
When do you harvest your broccoli for the best flavor? Take a knife and cut the broccoli head off when the first yellow bud appears on the head. Keep the side shoots on the plant since they often produce tiny but edible broccoli heads.
Pests and Diseases
Aphids: Aphids will consume broccoli and produce a sticky material that attracts sooty mould. It is black and will envelop the plant, preventing photosynthesis and starving it. Aphids are eaten by lady bugs. You can purchase bundles of Lady bugs or their eggs. The larvae will kill all of the aphids on your plant once they hatch.
Harlequin bugs: Harlequin bugs are sucking insects that will drain your plant’s juices. This causes the plant to wilt in the bitten places.
Cabbage loopers: Cabbage loopers are up to an inch and a half long caterpillars. They eat large holes in the broccoli plant’s leaves. Cabbage loopers can be killed by picking them and dropping them into soapy water. They can also be sprayed with Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis), a bacterial infection that kills only caterpillars and not other bugs.
Imported cabbage worm:
The imported cabbageworm can grow to be one and a quarter inches long. They nibble on the leaves of mature plants, reducing them to leaf veins and a stalk. They have also been observed chewing into the broccoli head. There are more effective pest-control techniques available. However, because pesticides come and go, we cannot prescribe a specific one.
Ask your Extension Agent for the names of pesticides that will kill any pests you encounter. Use the least hazardous pesticide possible to eliminate your problem. Read the label and follow the instructions exactly.
There are only a few illnesses that affect broccoli. If your broccoli appears to be sick, call your local Extension agent for assistance.
Also Read: How long does it take to Grow Broccoli?