Thursday, April 14, 2011

Gardening 101: How to plant broccoli and arugula?

Today I planted some broccoli and arugula. I have been meaning to plant them a little earlier, but have not had the time. Both broccoli and arugula are cold crops so they can be planted up to 4 weeks before the last spring frost.

Broccoli:

I tried to plant some broccoli seeds indoors but they did not sprouted - not sure why - I still have them there hoping for success. However I did not wanted to wait too long as I can't wait to have our first home grown broccoli of the year! So I went and bought some plants from the garden center at the weekend.

To plant them on the square foot garden, you will need one full square per broccoli plant as it will grow quite big. I planted 4 broccoli plants today in four squares.

To do so mark your squares, make a hole in the middle and insert your broccoli plant.

Be careful, today I dropped one of my plants by mistake and it landed in a way that the whole top snapped in 2. I planted it anyhow, a bit deeper to see if by any luck it will survive - we will see.



If you have a small garden, you can plant 4 lettuces around the small broccoli plant. The lettuce will be ready for harvest before the broccoli plant is to big - so it is perfect to maximize your space. I may plant some arugula around them later on in the week.

We are a broccoli loving household. Broccoli is one of the selected vegetables my kids will eat. We call them little trees and always pretend they have small birds inside that sign your name! I cook them in a variety of ways, but we particularly love it steamed, in creamy soup and as a healthy addition to our home made Mac & Cheese.


Arugula:

My arugula seeds did sprout - well at least 4 of them!!! so I planted them outside too. I waited until they had their second set of leaves before transplanting them outside. I am taking a little risk with them as you really are supposed to acclimatize the plants before planting outside, by letting the plants out during the day and bringing them back in during the night for a few days. Also, today it will be quite cold - so not sure I made a smart decision (but I am very impatient and I needed to plant my arugula now!!!). I covered them with inverted soda bottles to keep them warmer(2 to 4 degrees) tonight. Hopefully they will survive.




To plant arugula in a square garden, you plant them at 4 plants per square (2 rows of 2). Select your squares, open 4 holes, and put your plants in it. Do not forget to water them thoroughly after.


I love arugula in salads, and on their own with a bit of Parmesan cheese, olive oil and balsamic vinegar!

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