Welcome to my website in which I show you how I grow great organic vegies in a water conserving raised garden bed with the help of a built in worm farm and pest exclusion devices. I also show you how I rotate these vegies in a 4 year 4 bed cycle. Check out my website 'Gardening with Ecobeds' which shows you how Ecobeds are made and how they grow food without using poisonous chemicals....................John Ashworth 27th July 2015.
Latest Update 3rd November 2016.
Waltham broccoli produces a firm tasty head followed by smaller
floret side shoots extending harvest beyond a month. Romanesco broccoli produces a beautiful spiraling cone shaped very pale greenhead, but I have never left one long enough to test whether it sends out small florets.
Broccoli is a healthy vegetable containing lots of dietary fibre, minerals and vitamins.
don't grow many in our garden as its a seasonal vegetable and occupies a
lot of limited Ecobed space. Normally I would grow just 2 Waltham and 2
Romanesco each year.
I have frozen surplus broccoli in the past, but we prefer it fresh and steamed for 10 minutes with a nice dressing of a herb and vegetable based sauce.
food is very low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
It is a good
source of protein, vitamin E (alpha tocopherol), thiamin, riboflavin,
pantothenic acid, calcium, Iron, magnesium, phosphorus and selenium, and
a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K,
vitamin B6, folate, potassium and manganese
Waltham broccoli produces a large firm head, which should be harvested before it starts to flower.
the broccoli to continue growing and it will reward you with a
succession of edible side shoots. Harvest them regularly before they
flower and they will continue to produce for several months in a warm
Broccoli should be protected against slugs and snails using self adhesive copper
tape bonded around the base of your Ecobeds.
these molluscs get into your Ecobed as eggs laid in your compost, kill
them with organically approved iron based snail pellets as soon as you
discover them. You should only need to use a small number of pellets.
best deterrent for caterpillars is exclusion netting. My Ecobeds have
built-in frames and attachments for easy mounting of exclusion netting. However, because I grow broccoli as a winter crop, butterflies are not a serious problem, and I usually don't use the netting
If the butterflies become a problem spray the crop thoroughly with Bacillus thuringiensis (Dipel in Australia) This
natural soil dwelling bacterium once ingested by the caterpillars produces toxins which
paralyse their digestive system causing it to stop feeding. They die within a few days.
Whitefly breed on the backs of broccoli leaves and can be seen as 1 centimeter diameter white colonies in their pupae form. I look for these and scrape them off with my fingernail. If left, they will breed rapidly when the warmer weather arrives, and become a major pest in your garden.
Spray greenfly with organic horticultural oil as soon as they appear. Be vigilant as they can return, and make sure you spray the insects themselves as the oil blocks their breathing tubes and smothers them.
Organically active soil is the best deterrent
for root knot nematode. The beneficial microbes protect a plant's root
surfaces by colonising them, and predatory microbes control their
numbers in the plant's root zone.
applications of aerated compost tea boost the natural defences of broccoli by colonising the leaf surfaces with beneficial microbes.
They defend the plant against airborne pests and diseases.
proper soil preparation including regular applications of home made
compost boosts the community of beneficial
microbes, which defend the plants roots against plant pathogens.
Wire net tunnelsstops birds digging up worms in your Ecobed, and protect the seedlings until they are large enough to withstand this behaviour.