Broccoli raab is a leafy green, edible, cruciferous vegetable; the leaves, stems, and buds are all edible; the stems look like broccoli but don’t form a big, strong head like the vegetable. Broccoli is well known in Mediterranean cuisine for its mildly spicy taste, which is especially associated with Moroccan cooking. Broccoli is an ideal ingredient for a hearty stew or roast, or as a side dish for chicken or fish dishes. It can be cooked with meats and vegetables, or left alone to retain its spiciness. The leaves are high in Vitamin A and potassium, as well as iron, calcium, fiber, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, and beta-carotene.
Growing broccoli in a garden provides a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. But it’s also a good idea to purchase broccoli from a reputable nursery. Buying plants in bulk from a supermarket or farmer’s market is very convenient, but buying from a reputable breeder ensures that you are getting healthy, full-grown broccoli. Buying broccoli from a reputable breeder ensures that you are getting healthy, full-grown broccoli.
If you have decided to grow your own broccoli, be sure to follow the directions on the packaging for taking care of the plant. Make sure the soil is moist, and that it is well rotted before planting. Keep the root system well watered when it is time to replant the broccoli raab plant. Remove the old, dried up leaves of the plant as they become old and discolored, and then remove any brown or black patches. Use a sharp knife to cut away any tender areas from the root ball, then gently tap the new root ball to make sure the soil is properly filled with soil.
Planting The broccoli raab plant must be planted in full sun, in partial shade or a location that gets at least four hours of sunshine each day. It is important to water the plant well in the early morning, but not more than two days. Water the plant thoroughly during the afternoon and evening, removing the excess water after the first week. Avoid over-watering the plant, as it will become overweight and prone to disease. Water only during periods when the soil is dry, such as during a drought.
Planting – Keep the broccoli plants upright by placing them in rows, and add two-thirds to the height of each row. Make the spaces between the rows wide enough for the roots to spread out. Make sure the plant has plenty of room to grow up and become strong, healthy. When the first set of leaves appears, you can start to see the sprouts coming up, but they are too small to use as food yet.
Maintenance The broccoli plant needs good soil, which should be slightly enriched with nutrients to make it suitable for growing. A healthy soil will support the plant and its healthy growth. A well-drained soil will hold well for the years to come, and it will be ready to harvest when it blooms full and strong. When the broccoli starts to bloom, it is a good idea to water the plant every day to help it become strong, healthy and full of flavor.