Grow Diary: Broccoli

  • Days To Germination: 7-10. Days to Maturity: 90. Planting Depth: 1/8 inch. Spacing, Row: 24-36 inches. Spacing, Plant: 18-24 inches. Light: Mostly Sunny Location
  • Sow directly into the garden or trays. Cover seeds with 1/8 inch of fine soil. Keep soil moderately moist during germination. (Broccoli can be sown in spring, in midsummer for autumn crop)
  • Space plants 18 to 24 inches apart in rows spaced 2 to 3 feet apart depending upon available room. Thin or transplant seedlings when 2 inches tall.
  • Broccoli grows best in a mostly sunny location during the cooler parts of the growing season. Prefers fairly rich soil kept fairly moist. Side shoots will be produced in abundance as soon as the main head is cut.
  • “Soil Association” registered and certified Organic - AP22387. Professional DEFRA licenced Quality Seed Supply only - Minimal packaging - Ziplock labelled bags - Instructions not attached - See details provided above for cultivation advice.

  • Test Plants: Broccoli (Calabrese)
  • Growth Medium: Aqua Vega - 750ppm - pH 6.22
  • Location: Conservatory
  • Hydroponics Setup: 10L Kratky hydroponics system

In this experiment, Broccoli (Calabrese), the stuff you most often find on your dinner plate, was grown in the 10L bucket Kratky hydroponics system. As usual plants were started from seed in a germinator using Root Riot Organic Starter Cubes. They were allowed to grow for a week before the seedlings were transferred over to the 10L buckets containing Aqua Vega growing media. Two seedlings were grown per bucket.

The plants grew well enough, although they seemed a little too lanky, growing stems longer than expected especially in the early stages. In addition, as it was the middle of the summer and the conservatory was hotter than normal, the plants sucked up the media like crazy and after approximately a couple of months, the buckets were dry! This meant that the experiment had to be terminated early before they plants even had time to grow the edible flowers that we know of as Broccoli. Key learnings from this test grow were:

  • Broccoli (Calabrese) plants grow OK in the Kratky hydroponics system using Aqua Vega growing media
  • 10L buckets are too small to get the plant to the edible flowering stage (and certainly one should not allocate 2 plants per bucket)
  • The Broccoli plants appeared to grow a little on the lanky side possibly due to a lack of sufficient light in the conservatory.

Day 16

Day 24

Day 35

Day 48

The conservatory temperature got a little too high here!

Day 61

Day 65

Day 71 - the roots