Broccoli is a vegetable that loves sun and cool season, for now it is the number one best vegetable in the world. It is rich in vitamins, such as vitamin A and minerals; folic acid, fiber, iron and potassium. Broccoli farming is lucrative because after harvesting the main head it will keep producing smaller side-shoots for several months.
Nigeria is not known for Broccoli farming nor other exotic vegetables such as; Cauliflower, Celery, Beetroth. Yet the consumption is increasing even within the locals and so we are missing plenty money. Broccoli is sold only in few places such as super malls, online stores and foreign fruits and vegetable sellers in big cities; Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt etc.
You can plant broccoli in your backyard garden in a container or go into commercial broccoli farming. It can be done successfully with the guidelines in this post. The most important thing is to know the right variety to cultivate.
Too much sun is not good for broccoli farming because it will cause bolting. That is why it is very important to chose the time of planting correctly.
Broccoli has the same growth pattern as other fall vegetables such as celery, cauliflower etc.
Broccoli grows well in places like Plateau State and the Mabilla region of Taraba State because the grow well in cool weather. But under green house, time of cultivation and hybrid seeds they can be grown anywhere. It requires six hours of sunlight, arable and fertile land. The land pH should be between 6.0-7.0 because it will not allow club root disease.
Clear the land and remove every stubble, make the soil areable for broccoli farming. One interesting thing about vegetable cultivation is the fact that they can be grown in sacks. If you want to grow broccoli in sack you can go ahead. Growing vegetables in sacks has many benefits such as;
- weeds will be reduced and can be controlled,
- farm is will be well organized allowing free movement,
- diseases can be easily controlled,
- Crop performs better in growth.
Broccoli farming requires a.well drained sandy-loam soil. You can apply 2-4 inches rich compost manure to the soil before planting. Plant seeds directly into the soil 1/2 inch deep and 3 inches apart.
You can transplant after 2-3 weeks or when leaves are 4-5. Two and half feet spacing between rows and 24 inches between crops in the same row. Close spacing will yield smaller main heads but higher secondary heads.
Broccoli seedlings should possess succulent stems and large, green leaves because seedlings that has hard stems or purplish. And stunted leaves or stay too long in pots will produce tiny broccoli heads.
Fertilizer application in Broccoli Farming
Apply manure 3 weeks after transplanting into the main garden. Avoid manure with high nitrogen content example chicken dung and any inorganic fertilize of such because it will encourage foliage.
Low nitrogen is good for broccoli farming. Apply manure at every stage of their development example when the first buds appear. It therefore means from planting to harvest broccoli will need three times manure application.
Maintenance in Broccoli Farming
Thinning can be done when broccoli is about 2-3 inches tall. The soil should be consistently moist and maintain watering during dry season or drought.
During heads development do not wet the head because it can result in rot. The roots of broccoli are very shallow and should not be disturb especially when weeding. Instead you can suppress weeds through mulching.
Mulching is one of the best ways to control weeds in any farm because they also decay and add manure to the soil which is very organic. Compost mulching is best for farming, it helps to keep soil temperature low.
Broccoli grows best under cool and wet conditions.
Pest/Diseases in Broccoli Farming
Cabbage loopers: these are caterpillars that create small holes in leaves between the veins. They can be hand picked. But if they are many in number you can apply insecticides. Others are; cabbage root maggot, cabbageworms.
Downy mildew: yellow patches caused by moist weather. Plant resistant varieties and keep leaves dry.
Clubroot: it is a fungus attack that causes plant wilting, uproot the affected plants and burn.
Bacterial soft rot: It is common under warm, wet conditions, and with varieties that have flat heads. But Varieties with dome-shaped heads are more resistant.
Aphids, they are insects that suck sap resulting in leave curling. Apply been water or soap water.
- Green magic
- Green Goliath
- Green Duke: early variety very good for those in Southern regions, and heat tolerant.
- Others are; Shogun, Arcadia and Marathon
Harvesting of broccoli should be done in the morning before the sun becomes high and the buds of the heads are firm and tight. If you notice yellow petals, harvest your broccoli immediately because it will reduce the quality.
The heads should be cut from the plant with at least 6 inches of stem. Cut by slanting so water can slide away and not affect the secondary heads. After harvest, broccoli will produce a second crop of small side-shoots depending on the variety. And can be harvested 2-3 weeks after the main head.
Broccoli can be store in the refrigerator for 5 days. You can blanch and frozen them up for a year.
Profit in Broccoli Farming
It has greater profit because after harvesting the main head. You will keep harvesting side heads for a long time. A head of Broccoli is very costly. For instance, Ikg of broccoli cost more than #4,000 in Jumia online store. The price of one head of broccoli can be more than #1,000 depending on where you are buying from.
If you have an acre that yield high then you should be counting much gain. Broccoli farming requires little money.
Broccoli farming is not the type of vegetable farming that is common. Many people are looking for where to buy broccoli in Nigeria. Advertise your farm and you will get plenty buyers.
Uses of Broccoli
- It is used in food dressing
- Garnishing of diet
- Salad making
- It is very nutritious; good for vegetarians, a low carb diet, keto diet and renal diet.
We have just but few people planting exotic crops and it come from one particular region; Plateau State. With Nigeria population we need many people to go into this money spinning agribusiness.
Key things to note in Broccoli farming is that plant requires:
- Cool weather
- Good sunlight
- Good variety to do well.
Contact us for fresh exotic vegetables such as; cauliflower, celery, raddish, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce etc. Call: 080 359 65405
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