Contrary to popular belief, broccoli is one of the most popular vegetables purchased and consumed each year. Broccoli is the sixth most popular vegetable according to The Packer 2017 Fresh Trends. A reason for this trend is broccoli is incredibly nutritious, low in calories, and provides high fiber, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K.
Broccoli is a relatively easy vegetable to grow. It has been grown worldwide for centuries but has only been grown in the United States since 1925. The United States is now the largest producer of broccoli, as a fresh produce crop, worldwide. Broccoli plants can be grown in north, central, and south Florida with proper care. As a cool-season crop, broccoli can germinate in soil temperatures as low as 40℉. The beginning of its growing season in Florida starts in January and continues through the end of July depending on the region. ‘Green Goliath’ and ‘Green Duke’ are two varieties of broccoli that are heat tolerant, and are perfect for Florida’s warm weather.
When planting, the seeds need ample space between them in order to grow. They should be planted at least 12 to 24 inches apart in a sunny area where the plants will get at least 4 to 6 hours of sun. The seeds will germinate and plants will emerge within a week. Pests are a major problem in the broccoli growing industry. Broccoli is ready to harvest when the head of the plant has tight green flower beads. It takes 80 to 100 days for the plant to mature fully. After harvest, the plant will produce side shoots that can be harvested until a heavy frost kills the plant.
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