Growing Broccoli in Greenhouse – Planting, Farming
Growing Broccoli in Greenhouse
Hello friends, we are here today with the topic of “Growing Broccoli in Greenhouse”. Broccoli is a healthy vegetable and is rich in several vitamins, minerals. Broccoli is an exotic vegetable plant. Generally, Broccoli cultivation in the greenhouse is a good source of income and it is a rich source of nutrition such as iron, calcium, and vitamins. The crop contains about 3.3% of protein content and high content of Vitamin A and C. Also, it contains a substantial amount of riboflavin, niacin, and thiamine and also contains a high concentration of carotenoids. It is used for salad purposes and can be eaten by lightly steaming it. It is marketed fresh, frozen, or as a salad. This healthy green vegetable is a member of the Brassicaceae family, a close relative of Brussels sprouts, Cauliflower, Bok choy, Head Cabbage, and greens like Collards.
Broccoli is crispy and tasty to eat and use this vegetable in Salad. This vegetable has become popular in , and food consumption has increased in the hotels and at home for making a getable salad. The greenhouse has been evolved to create favorable micro-climates, which favors the crop production that can be possible all through the year. Though, environmental control can include cooling to mitigate excessive temperatures, light control, carbon dioxide levels, relative humidity, water, plant nutrients, and pest control.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Growing Broccoli in Greenhouse, Planting Guide, Cultivation Practices
Guide to Growing Broccoli
Broccoli Varieties in
Some important Broccoli varieties cultivated in are Roylegreen, Evergreen, Danube, Yugren, Salinas Pilgrim, Green Mountain, and Central, Premium Crop, and Premium Pusa Broccoli.
There are many varieties of Broccoli to choose from, from the popular large-headed plant varieties to spicy Broccoli Raab to Romanesco and sprouting varieties.
Some types of Broccoli plant focus on one main flower head, while others sprout smaller individual florets. Normally, Broccoli plant varieties differ in the shape and size of the head, side shoot production, and disease resistance. Also, other cool-season vegetable plants, Broccoli have ‘early and mid-season varieties. Early plant varieties mature in 50 to 60 days, while mid-season varieties get matured in 60-75 days of transplanting. There are three commonly grown types of Broccoli are Calabrese, sprouting, and purple Broccoli. Calabrese Broccoli plant has large about 10 to 20 cm green heads and thick stalks. Also, it is referred to simply as ‘Broccoli’ grown as a cool-season annual crop. Sprouting Broccoli has a larger number of heads with many thin stalks, which are prepared in the same way as asparagus.
The characteristics of some improved varieties are;
Punjab Broccoli – These plant leaves are smooth, wavy, and dark green. The sprouts are compact, attractive, and succulent. The sprouts are ready for harvest in approximately 65 days.
Fiesta – It is a mid-season Broccoli variety. It produces dense and well-domed heads with thick stems on stout plants. It is ideal for late summer sowing for a fall/winter Broccoli crop. This can be planted on tighter spacing for single harvest has limited side shoot production.
Palam Vichitra – This plant variety is suitable for cultivation under low hill conditions. Other Broccoli varieties that are suitable for cultivation under low hill conditions are Palam Haritika and Palam Kanchan.
Pusa KTS 1 – It is a medium-tall variety (65-70 cm), dark green waxy foliage with slightly wavy margins, heads are solid, main head size and matures in 90 to 105 days after transplanting.
Palam Samridhi – A high yield variety with a large terminal head weighing about 300-400 gm each.
Gypsy – It produces nicely-domed green color heads and this variety is tolerant to heat.
Arcadia – It produces a uniform and purplish-green heads. Strong cold tolerance makes this variety is one of the best types of Broccoli plants for fall and winter production. Moreover, it is resistant to head rot and downy mildew disease.
Points to be Consider before Selecting Greenhouse Site
For growing Broccoli, a greenhouse should get full sun, at least 6 hours per day, especially during the winter season. Site your greenhouse to avoid shadows from buildings and trees, since many plants do best in full sun. The greenhouse system uses conduction to spread and keep heat throughout the structure. Energy flows in a greenhouse system from higher energy molecules or warmer materials to lower energy or cooler molecules. The greenhouse system uses radiation, or the travelling of heat through another material that does not absorb it, to heat the environment.
Humidity keeps a plant healthy, but too much of a good thing may ruin the greenhouse environmental conditions. Humidity provides extra moisture to the plant and also keeps leaves green and healthy. A greenhouse that is too hot can cause the evaporation of water used for irrigation, causing excessive vapor. Proper watering and plant placement within the greenhouse system will prevent high humidity from occurring.
You have to consider the following points to become successful in greenhouse Broccoli farming;
- Soil pH should be between 6.0 to 7.0 and EC (Volatility) 0.3 to 0.5 mm/cm.
- Good water quality is continuously available.
- The irrigation water samples should be range from pH level 5.5 to 7.0 and E.C. 0.1 to 0.3
- The selected place should be pollution-free.
- There should be roads for the transportation of goods in the market.
- The selected place must be large enough for the upcoming expansion.
- Workers should be available easily.
- Also, the drainage of the soil must be excellent.
Conditions Required for Growing Broccoli in Greenhouse
Conditions Required for Growing Broccoli
- Generally, you can grow any Brassica in a medium with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0, provided you keep the soil moist. Plants perform best at temperatures between 10 to 20°C, though some seeds will need to be heated above these temperatures to get a good germination rate.
- Select a light, well-draining medium for greenhouse-grown Broccoli and keep an eye on the temperatures in your building midday temperatures can rise surprisingly high if your area gets a lot of winter sun.
- Broccoli needs to be maintained around 16°C when growing, but seeds will sprout in about a week in a wide range of temperatures from 7 to 29°C. Broccoli plant does well in containers, provided they hold at least three gallons of medium and drain well wider containers are better for Broccoli’s shallow roots. Start seeds intended as transplants 6 to 8 weeks before your last frost date.
- Normally, Broccoli can be grown in a wide variety of soils. Sandy and silt loam soils are most preferred to get a better crop yield.
- The selected land is plowed 3 to 4 times, and then adds compost or well rotten FYM 25-30 tons/hectare before planting Broccoli and mix thoroughly at the time of land preparation.
- Broccoli can be cultivated throughout the year under the greenhouse system.
Tips for Growing Broccoli in Greenhouse
Seeds – Unless you start seeds indoors over the winter season, it may be difficult to grow a spring Broccoli crop from seed, because the weather will warm too quickly. Plant seeds about ¼ to ½ inch deep, and then transplant in about 5 weeks.
Transplants – Plant Broccoli seedlings as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring season. If you’re planting Broccoli transplants or seedlings, set them deeper in the soil than they were in the pot.
Feeding – Broccoli plant grows in a hurry, and it needs a lot of nutrients. Rich compost will help feed hungry Broccoli, but it will also benefit from applications of compost tea or monthly applications of a balanced organic fertilizer.
Watering – Like other vegetables, the Broccoli plant needs to be kept evenly moist. Give Broccoli about an inch of water per week, and water deeply (rather than sprinkling) to encourage deep roots, but don’t let Broccoli plants become too dry between watering.
For early markets, transplants should be raised in greenhouses. About 5 to 6 weeks are essential to produce transplants, so start in February or March. Broccoli can be grown in plastic plug trays/plant cells or peat blocks example Jiffy pots. Old or large plants of Broccoli and those grown at low-temperature levels are likely to button (premature head formation) and bolt if exposed to a period of cool weather after field setting. Plant seedlings outside when they are about 15 cm high with 5 to 6 true leaves. Slight hardening is beneficial, but severe hardening could stunt growth. Hardening is the process whereby, 2 weeks before planting, transplants are acclimatized gradually to the outdoor environment.
For greenhouse Broccoli production, follow the instructions given above, but start plants in May. If growing Broccoli in seedbeds, space rows about 25 to 30 cm apart. Then, start seed between May and June for transplanting out in June and July. Place seeds 12 mm deep and 25 to 40 cm apart, in rows that are 60-75 cm apart. For Broccoli to be harvested during the hot humid weather of August, plant spacing should be increased to the wider end of the range recommended helping reduce head rot.
Planting Process for Growing Broccoli in Greenhouse
A greenhouse can helps to increase plant growth. Humidity, temperature levels, and sterility are all environmental conditions kept at a constant by a greenhouse.
- When it comes to planting Broccoli, they can germinate their best at 12ºC soil temperature. However, they need hot climate conditions with moist and slightly acidic fertile soil during the growing period.
- For growing by direct seeding on the field, highly qualified seeds must be sown directly to the ground by keeping some distance between them. However, for transplanting the nursery-raised seedlings, transplant the seedlings having 3 to 6 true leaves and are 3 to 4 weeks old.
- These green crown jewels are cold-season vegetable plants and are planted in early spring or late summer. The best place to plant Broccoli would be cold frame greenhouse systems that are designed in a way to support cool-season crops.
- For growing plants in a greenhouse, select an area where there is adequate sunlight of 6 to 8 hours per day. The Broccoli plant does well in full sun exposure otherwise it will be thin, leggy, and inferior quality Broccoli.
- The greenhouse bed should have well-drained soil; it must be moist, and fertile. We highly recommend using an equal ratio of topsoil and compost.
- Broccoli plant prefers a slightly acidic soil pH range of 6.0 to 7.0. So for successfully growing Broccoli in the greenhouse, it is a good idea to add a very small amount of Ammonium Nitrate or Ammonium sulfate.
- Generally, you should never use mulch in the greenhouse Broccoli bed. Normally, mulch is added to raised beds for weed control and to retain soil humidity. Though, you must never use organic mulches inside the greenhouse because the environment inside the greenhouse is already humid and it can serve as a habitat for both fungi and insects.
- For getting a good yield, it is better to install a drip irrigation system for Greenhouse Broccoli raised bed so you can automatically water your plants.
- Drip irrigation is also called Drip Line Systems. It is a form of irrigation system in which water is applied to the roots of the plants through a network of tubes. Drip irrigation systems are popular because of their high efficiency, better water conservation, and lower water bills as opposed to traditional watering methods.
- After transplanting the seedling in the greenhouse bed, nourish them with fertilizers like compost or rotted manure. Avoid using high-nitrogen fertilizers. When plants reach a height of about 2 to 3 inches then thin them.
- Water the greenhouse bed well and keep the soil moist by watering the plant 1 to 1 ½ inch per week. Though watering does not water the newly developing Broccoli heads, as it can encourage rot.
- Add blood meal and then the bottom and top leaves start changing their color from green to yellow color.
How to Start Broccoli from Seed
- Start sowing Broccoli seeds in modular trays, and it is best to follow the instructions given by the seed supplier. You must use a seed starter mix for this purpose.
- Place the seed tray under grow lights.
- Transplant seedling into the greenhouse bed when they are 4 to 6 weeks old, with 4 to 5 leaves, and a height of about 2 to 3 inches.
- Plant the Broccoli seedling in the greenhouse raised bed slightly deeper than their container or seed tray depth.
- Seedlings must be planted 12 to 20 inches apart.
- Space rows of Broccoli about 2 to 3 feet apart.
- Finally, water them regularly.
Steps to Growing Broccoli in Greenhouse
Depending on the actual make and model you purchase, a greenhouse can include electricity, heat, benches, shelves, and lighting.
Step 1) Install adequate central heating and cooling in the greenhouse system, knowing that greenhouses get only 25% of their heat from the sun and require additional heating-and-cooling regulation in regions with moderate to extreme swings in temperature.
Step 2) After that, install two fans, one facing inward, serving as air input, and one facing outward, serving as air output (exhaust). Fans help ventilate the air and introduce fresh amounts of carbon dioxide. Though, for small greenhouse systems about 200 to 600 square feet, select fans capable of moving 5,000 cubic feet of air. For larger greenhouses of 600 to 1,200 square feet, choose fans capable of moving 12,000 cubic feet of air.
Step 3) Then, install wooden crates of about 3 feet wide per row and at least 2 feet deep.
Step 4) Spread fertilized soil into a depth of about 23 to 24 inches. The soil settles a little, so you must fill the crates as full as possible.
Step 5) Plant the Broccoli seeds 1 inch deep and about 15 to 24 inches apart in a layer of starter fertilizer that offers the Broccoli seeds the required nutrients they need to encourage fast growth.
Step 6) Watering the Broccoli heads encourages inedible blossoms. Then, allow the plant to grow 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 months.
Step 7) Harvest the plants by snipping them off beneath the head allowing for 5 to 6 inches of stalk.
Fertilizer Management for Growing Broccoli in Greenhouse
Broccoli is a heavy feeder. Make sure soil is fertile enough by mixing in at least 1 inch of compost at planting time. Also, you can apply a high-nitrogen organic fertilizer, such as alfalfa meal or composted poultry manure, every few weeks. Provide about an inch of water weekly.
Before giving fertilizer to the Broccoli crop, the soil should be analyzed and then decide fertilizer dose quantity. Broccoli crop is required to give 150 kg of Nitrogen, 100 kg of phosphorus, and 170kg of potassium per hectare of land.
Though, Nitrogen 120 kg, 80 kg phosphorus, and 60 kg potash must be applied at the transplantation time. The remaining half of nitrogen must be used in two split doses at 30 and 45 days after transplanting. Give micronutrients based on the crop requirement.
Pests and Diseases Management for Growing Broccoli in Greenhouse
The Broccoli plant isn’t plagued by many diseases. The most common insect pests for Broccoli plants are aphids, cabbage worms, and slugs.
Damping-Off – It is a serious disease in the Broccoli plant. High humidity condition, heavy rainfall poor water drain soil and low-temperature level this is the favorable condition for this disease. This can be controlled by seed treatment with Thiram or Captan at 2.5-3 gm/kg of seed.
Downy Mildew – Fungus growth is observed on the leaves. At disease, the infestation stage sprays Mancozeb at 0.25% and repeats this spray after 7 to 8 days.
White Rust – It is a soil-borne disease. The white rust fungus attacks the lower surface of the outer plant leaves, and plants suddenly die. For controlling this problem, the soil must be treated with a fungicide like Bavistin at 1gm/liter of water.
Black Rot – First signs appear on plant leaves; leaves become yellow at leaf margin areas. If this infection is observed at an early stage of the plant, the Broccoli plants wilt and die.
Cutworms – To control this problem spray insecticides like Rogoror, Endosulfan at 2 to 3 ml/liter of water.
Aphids – Aphids are small and soft-bodied, pear-shaped insects. For control, this problem sprays Neem oil at 4% or Oxydemeton methyl by 0.02% to control aphid’s insect. You can apply soapy detergent water to all sides of plant leaves whenever you see aphids. Also, you can follow the organic ways of controlling greenhouse pests.
Mustard Sawfly – The mustard sawfly larva is greenish-black with a wrinkled body. The larvae feed on leaves. The yield decreased by 5% to 18 %. To control this problem spraying Chlorpyriphos or Quinalphos is effective against mustard sawflies.
When and How to Harvest Broccoli in Greenhouse
- Harvest Broccoli in the morning time.
- If you find yellow color petals, and then harvest Broccoli immediately because it will decrease quality rapidly.
- The perfect method to harvest Broccoli is to cut heads from the plant, taking at least 6 inches of stem.
- If you do see yellow petals in Broccoli, harvest immediately, as the quality will decrease rapidly.
- When the main Broccoli head is several inches in diameter, Broccoli is ready to harvest. The heads must be green, compact, and firm. If the Broccoli plant produces side shoots, those florets may be smaller.
- Cut the main stalk of the Broccoli at an angle, several inches below the flower head by using a sharp knife.
Storage of Broccoli
- Store Broccoli in the refrigerator for up to 5 to 6 days.
- Do not wash Broccoli before storing it. If you wash Broccoli before storing it, make sure to dry it thoroughly.
- Broccoli can be frozen for up to 1 year.
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