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Broccoli


Broccoli has considerably increased in popularity in recent years. This vegetable is a cluster of undeveloped flower buds that can be planted in spring and fall in Kansas. Small secondary heads can be harvested for several weeks following hte cutting of the large central head.

Broccoli Varieties:
Green Comet, Premium Crop, Emperor, Green Valiant, and Packman are popular green-headed varieties.

When to Plant:
Set plants in the garden in late March to early April, before the danger of frost has passed. Early planting is essential so that the plant heads can develop before the onset of hot weather. Plant fall broccoli plants in early August or direct seed in early July.

Care:
Select broccoli plants that are small and stocky. Avoid tall, spindly plants. weak, tall plants often "bolt" or produce a premature head, which will never enlarge. Broccoli requires a lot of fertilizer to produce a large plant and a large head. Fertilize at planting.

Harvest:
Snap or cut the sprouts from the stem when they are an inch in diameter. More sprouts will develop on the stem above.

The plat is quite freeze hardy and can be left in the garden until late November or early December many years for continued harvest. Sprouts developing in hot weather will often be loose and of poor quality.