Knowing When and How to Harvest Broccolini - Krostrade

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Knowing When and How to Harvest Broccolini

Did you know that countless gardening enthusiasts out there are always on the lookout for tips on when and how to harvest broccolini successfully? Broccolini is a hybrid between standard American broccoli and Gai Lan, a type of Chinese broccoli.

However, compared to the regular broccoli, its stems are longer and more tender. Known as one of the most popular vegetables on gourmet tables, the broccolini is famous for its distinct sweet and peppery taste, as well as its delicate texture.

While others may suggest planting the broccolini during colder seasons, it’s best to plant it in the early spring once the frost has passed. In case you’re not aware, broccolini is considered as a temperature-sensitive crop. If you want to grow your broccolini successfully, you may want to experiment and figure out what planting time works best based on your area.

 

Knowing When and How to Harvest Broccolini

Growing and Harvesting Broccolini

Broccolini grows better if they’re transplanted rather than sowed from seeds. Once you’ve set it up, harden the new plants and expose them in the environment outside for increasing periods over the course of one week.

Broccolini needs full sun and a nutrient-dense soil to thrive. The soil pH should be between 6.0 to 7.0 to ensure optimal growth. You can also add manure or compost to the soil to ensure that the plant will receive as many nutrients as possible and ensure healthy growth.

Moreover, broccolini needs at least 1 to 2 inches of water each week. You should make sure that the soil is moist, and water the plant as soon as you notice that the soil is starting to dry off. Water the plant just enough to moisten the soil, but make sure that it’s not waterlogged.

Typically, broccolini planted from transplants will come to harvest within 50 to 60 days after planting. They should be harvested when the heads are fully-formed but before the flowering starts.

 

How to Harvest Broccolini

When you see that the little florets (flower buds) of your broccolini are tight, this is usually the best time to harvest your broccolini, as this is the stage where it’s the tastiest. Another sign to look out for is if your plant’s stems are starting to bolt because this is an indication that your plant will begin to flower soon. If you wait too long, your broccolini will start to bloom, and it will not produce the same taste compared to when you harvest it before flowering.

To harvest your broccolini, be sure that the leaves are still green and not yellow because this could mean that the plant has already wilted. Using a sharp pruner or shears, cut the broccolini at the base of its stalk. The good thing about broccolini is that it will continue to grow shoots even when the head has been cut down as long as the weather stays cold.

 

Care Tips for Your Broccolini

To make sure that you enjoy the best quality of broccolini, be sure to do these care tips.

 

Care Tip #1

Don’t plant broccolini on areas where crops like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale have been planted in the last four years. These types of crops are susceptible to pests and diseases. When you grow your broccolini in the same place, they, too, will become vulnerable to the same pests and diseases that affect those crops.

 

Care Tip #2

Beware of signs of nitrogen insufficiency. The most common symptom of this is the yellowing of the leaves. Once you notice that, be sure to feed the plants regularly every few weeks to give the plants an extra boost of nitrogen.

 

Care Tip #3

Push the soil up the stems once the broccolini plants’ height reaches around 8 to 10 inches. This will help encourage new side shoots to form, especially when you’ve just harvested the full-grown florets.

 

Should You Plant Your Broccolini Inside Your Semi Pro Greenhouse?

The simple answer is yes. Although the broccolini is a cold-loving plant, most of its kind cannot tolerate frost. So, if you’re planning to plant your broccolini during the winter or middle of summer, it will be better off if you place them inside a semi pro greenhouse.

Check out the benefits of growing broccolini in a semi pro greenhouse:

 

Extended Growing Season

As mentioned, broccolini thrives best in colder temperatures but cannot tolerate frost. If you’re planning to enjoy the tasty broccolini florets in the middle of the winter, you can make sure that your broccolini will still produce shoots in the winter by placing it inside a semi pro greenhouse. With one, you’ll have better control of its growing conditions.

 

Pest Protection

Like its relative, the broccoli, broccolini is extremely susceptible to pests. Placing it inside a semi pro greenhouse will help prevent the pest from eating away your beautiful plant. Since semi pro greenhouses are enclosed with plastic films or fiberglass, problems coming from the outside won’t penetrate the barrier and infect the broccolini.

 

Protection from Rough Weather

Broccolini plants have slender stalks and can easily break when during strong winds. Planting your broccolini inside a semi pro greenhouse allows you to protect them from winds, typhoons, and heavy rains, ensuring the survival of your broccolini.

 

Final Words on How to Harvest Broccolini

Broccolini is one of the most delicious vegetables you can grow in your garden. Now that you know how to harvest broccolini, there’s no stopping you from growing a whole bunch in your garden or your semi pro greenhouse. Just be sure to give them the proper care they need (1 to 2 inches of water, full sunlight, and moist soil) to ensure that they will grow successfully.

 

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How To Grow Mexican Heather. 3 Steps To Success

How To Grow Mexican Heather. 3 Steps To Success

You only need to overcome three steps to know how to grow Mexican heather. This compact perennial is unique not just because of its looks but also with how easy it thrives amidst hot conditions. However, do note that Mexican heather plants don’t do as well in cold regions. 

Before you give them up, you may also find it comfortable to grow Mexican heather in the greenhouse. Remember that the stable indoor conditions in the greenhouse make it ideal for starting plants. However, it can also offer protection to plants that don’t tolerate extreme climates. 

 

How To Plant Mexican Heather

 

Step #1. Planning and preparation

 

Timing

The first step in growing Mexican heather is planning and preparing to guarantee success. You want to check your calendar on when is the best time to plant Mexican heather. If your climate is similar to the Mediterranean regions, you can easily plant Mexican heather at any time

However, it’s generally ideal for growing this plant late in fall, so it has established itself before the temperatures get challenging. And as you can assume, you will need to grow Mexican heather in the greenhouse if your area has harsh winters. Starting Mexican heather from seeds indoors will guarantee flowers in the summer.

 

Location

After determining when to plant Mexican heather, you must prepare the site for your plants. Remember that the location is crucial to guarantee the steady growth of any plant. Therefore, you may benefit from starting Mexican heather indoors if your climate is fluctuating. 

In general, you want somewhere with fertile and well-draining soil. Test your soil to do the necessary amendments and improve its structure. The plant also does best with some shade because the full sun affects the foliage’s health. 

 

Step #2. Planting

After you started Mexican heather in the greenhouse, gently take the plant from the pot. Make sure to untangle and loosen the roots before setting the plant in the center of the hole. Allocate a space of three feet between each plant, and the top of the root ball should be half an inch above the ground. 

 

Step #3. Maintenance

Maintaining the newly planted Mexican heather plants is no different from other plants. You want to keep soil moisture to help the plants establish themselves. However, be sure not to create a wet environment that can decay the plant. 

Adjust your watering practices according to the weather. Mature Mexican heather plants will tolerate challenging conditions like drought and summer heat. However, it’s best to provide two to six hours of partial shade instead. 

 

 

How To Propagate Mexican Heather

 

Seeds

You can grow Mexican heather from seeds similarly to other flowering plants. Use pots with standard potting mix for sowing, and then add some soil over the seeds. Maintain soil moisture, and you can place the pots in the greenhouse to protect the seedlings from the environment. 

 

Cuttings

You can also root cuttings from a healthy Mexican heather plant. Take a four-inch stem section, remove its lower leaves, dip the end in rooting hormone, and then plant in a pot with soil. Continue watering until root establishment for transplanting. 

 

Division

Division is an excellent way to grow Mexican heather and also keep the plants from overcrowding an area. Gently loosen the soil around a plant to make lifting easier and divide the root ball into sections using a sharp and sterile knife. Depending on its size, you can get up to four divisions for transplanting in containers or onto the garden. 

 

Caring For Mexican Heather

 

Water and fertilizer

While Mexican heather can tolerate dry conditions, it would still be optimal to keep them well-hydrated. You can water the plants deeply once per week, but ensure that you’re using a well-draining medium and container. Then, wait for the ground to dry in between waterings to avoid creating standing water. 

Remember to adjust the frequency and amount of water you give to the plants. More so, container Mexican heather plants would dry faster, so water them often. You can also mulch every spring to maintain soil moisture and even smother weeds. 

Do you fertilize Mexican heather? Mexican heather is relatively low-maintenance and not meticulous when it comes to nutrients. However, you can still boost and maintain your plant by fertilizing in spring, summer, and fall with a balanced feed. 

 

Pruning

Pruning is not a requirement for Mexican heather. However, you can maintain the size and shape of your plant by trimming lightly every spring. You can also use this practice to remove the unhealthy parts. 

 

Common problems

As one can expect, Mexican heather plants are not that prone to many diseases and pests. However, you still want to maintain proper cleanliness and diligence to prevent infestation and diseases. It would also be best to maintain a stable environment such as a greenhouse to discourage spider mites or fungal infections. 

 

Conclusion

You can add another colorful perennial to your garden in three simple steps. Those who know how to grow Mexican heather can quickly tell you that this plant is the easiest to grow. However, remember to plan your planting date and site to ensure that the conditions will support the plant’s development. 

You can start indoors and then plant Mexican heather somewhere with partial shade and fertile, well-draining soil. Ensure soil moisture but never overwater the soil. Once established, you shouldn’t have any issues in growing Mexican heather. 

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