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Monday, August 17

Transplanting Fall Broccoli

As you might remember, my one and only broccoli plant has been through a little stress in its short life. The good news is, it has made a full recovery. I am still not sure if I planted it too late or not, but I will just have to see what happens come frost time. On the broccoli seed packet, it said 72 days. I have since done some research and found out that the 72 days means days from TRANSPLANT to maturity, not seed to maturity. (I really think the seed packet should have given me that important piece of info.)

Today, I moved the broccoli from its semi-shady and protected spot on the porch out to the garden. Since I have been growing it in a newspaper pot, I just planted the pot and all into the dirt. Now, broccoli is notoriously hard to grow organically because lots of bugs and worms (EWWW!) love broccoli. One of the best ways to protect broccoli is by covering it with a floating row cover from the minute you put it in the garden until you are ready to harvest it. Bugs can't get in, but light and water still can. Putting on a row coveris really easy.

First, dig a hole deep enough for your pot. Then stick your plant in the hole. See, isn't this easy?

Cover the entire pot with dirt, right up to the first broccoli leaves.

Cut your row cover to size, making sure to leave plenty of slack on both sides so that the plant can grow. I placed a couple of sticks on either side of the broccoli to keep the row cover off the plant, but that's optional. Then just place the cover over the plant.
Scatter dirt all around the edges to make sure it will stay in place and the bugs don't have any openings. I was thinking of maybe making a long tube and filling it with dirt or sand (kind of like a draft blocker for your door) for next year and then putting that along the edges instead of dirt. I think it would be a lot prettier and would be easy to remove if you want to look under the cover.
That's all there is to it. You can water right through the cover.


Jena said...

What do you use for the cover?

Lisa said...

It's called a floating row cover. They are available at most garden centers or online. They are used for pest protection and also to help extend the growing season by insulating the plants in cold weather.

Thomas said...

I feel your pain. Out of an entire packet of seeds, I had 4 broccoli seedlings. Two were accidentally decapitated during transplanting. The remaining two are starting to resemble swiss cheese these days! I should have purchased some row cover earlier! So much for fall broccoli.

Lisa said...

The broccoli is doing great under the row cover, so I would highly, highly recommend growing it this way. I just wish I would have planted it earlier!

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